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2012. there's $50,000 in total prizes and a grand prize of $5,000. go to student cam.org. >> now, the life of ross perot is profiled in the c-span series, the contenders. . .
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>> that was ross perot during the second of three presidential debates on october 15, 1992. talking about one of his favorite issues -- the u.s. debt. he won 19% of the popular vote, the largest vote for an independent candidate since theodore roosevelt. he ran a second campaign in 1996. today, he is our focus on "the contenders." thank you for being with us. we are doing this series as a way of looking at american history through the lens of presidential candidates who have failed in their quest for the white house but had an outside impact on american history. tonight joining us for our discussion of two hours on ross perot is doug brinkley. what interests you about ross perot? >> he has a pioneer spirit.
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he really harkens back to the 19th century, early 20th century. he is more like henry ford or thomas edison. he really cares about the country. patriotism has become kind of a cheap word. ross perot was kind of a superpatriot. he wants to do what is right for our country. this comes out of his naval academy background. his constant service to our country looking for pows and mias during vietnam and constantly supporting our special forces. the clips you just ran tells you that in 1992, perot was always on the central issue of our national election, the debt.
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today we are at $15 trillion in debt. what he was talking about that great sucking sounds of the jobs leaving america due to nafta outsourcing, it is probably on the left of the issue that most disturbs middle-class americans. jobs have gone overseas and many middle america towns are languishing. >> the issues he talked about in his campaign are being echoed by the tea party people on the right in the occupy wall street people on the left. >> exactly. he is a centrist. you cannot look at ross perot as the paradigm of typical politics. we often want to label people as right or left. he is something out of an older american wagon trains or world war ii heroes. soldiers, explorers, and mentors, that is what ross perot is about. his entering in 1992 is not about politics as much as it was public service.
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you have to say this about ross perot in 1992 and 1996, he put a considerable amount of money where his mouth was. he ran. every season we have people flirting with third-party runs, but he did it and it is quite extraordinary to get 19% of the vote. it is kind of unprecedented. it came from middle-class people all over a america. it is interesting to reflect on this united we stand movement ross perot ran in 1992 and with the reform party in 1996. and we wonder will there be a ross perot that enters in 2012. if you look at his platform in 1992, he seems to be right on a lot of key issues including border problems, drugs, violence on the texas-mexico border, the need for education. he has controversial things like putting on a gasoline tax. all of these issues, his legacy really invigorates our current
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debate. >> for many americans outside of texas, 1992 was perhaps their introduction to ross perot. he had been on the national stage for a while. in the late 1980's, he began speaking out about these issues that he was concerned about. we looked in our video library and our first coverage of ross perot was in 1987. here he is speaking before the american bankers association that year. >> let's look at where we are and take the rose colored glasses off. all of these people saying the fundamentals are sound, i think we have had enough doctor feelgood. i think we are tough enough to take bad news. i think it is time to look at the facts. we have a $3 trillion debt by
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1988. our debt is being funded by foreign nations at this point. the greatest nation in the history of man does not have the will to past -- we continue to pass resolutions that put us deeper into debt and we have given up trying to live within our means of the country. there is no correlation between taxes paid in and money spent. we are losing at international business competition. some of our banks have problems, savings and loans as serious problems. wall street is bouncing all over the place. our personal spending habits of our people are as unique as our federal spending habits. people spend everything they make. all they can borrow and they have no savings. >> 1987, 24 years ago. except for upping the numbers and the fact that americans are saving because of the 2008 crisis, almost every one of these issues could be talked about with the same words today. >> that is correct. remember why he could give that speech, he was a genius at start up operations.
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he understood the corporate world. in 1962 he created electronic data systems and ended up selling it a few years before that speech to general motors and became arguably the richest person in texas and was getting on the cover of fortune magazine. he knows what he is talking about as far as how to make a start up business. he was in early on with the internet revolution. the importance of data collection. he had at one point invested in apple with steve jobs. he really wanted the united states in his adult life to be the great country it was of his childhood, a country that fdr brought us through and the great depression. that can do spirit. it fills him up.
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the fact we were losing in the 1980's to japan a lot, and today our problems with competing with china. the fact that so many people in congress seem to be bought and paid for. getting rid of lobbyists and corporate corrupt politicians was at the core of the ross perot message. >> this is a call-in program. we in a few minutes will put our phone numbers on the screen so you can be involved with the issue that led to see he has today. this book was published "disrupting the balance of power." carolyn barta is the author. she is joining us from her home in texas. you knew ross perot as a journalist before many people met hi. can you tell us about his roots in texarkana and what shaped the man we knew of a national stage? >> perot was from texarkana. he had an average texas
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childhood. as a boy he broke horses and traded horses. he was an eagle scout. even in later tonight i think he kept all of the traits of the eagle scout. he would set of objectives and goals and try to pursue those goals. he was very much in the texas tradition of the day. as he grew and went to the naval academy and started his own businesses, he was representing the can-do spirit of texas. his vision was a big, the state was big, there were powerless opportunities. the sky was the limit. he really sort of played into what was the texas mythology
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with texas politicians who were larger than life, very successful businessman who made a fortune here. they were risk takers, they were not afraid to fail. that was the sort of spirit he had at that i think got him into this thing. >> noting that at the naval academy, he was president of his class the last couple of years. early on he showed leadership traits have the ability to galvanize people under his leadership. just a quick overview of his business career, let's take a look -- he went into business and to ibm as a salesman where he became the top salesman for the company. that was in 1957. in 1962 he founded his own company which was electronic data systems. he then sold it to general motors for $2.4 billion and stay on the board. in 1988 he founded perot
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systems. in 2009 he sold that company to dell computers for $3.9 billion. he and his family are known as philanthropists. can you talk about that side of him and his family? >> they have given a fortune to all sorts of charities here in dallas. ross perot himself has made many anonymous contributions in small ways. he has helped individuals without people even knowing about it. there is a hospital here named for margot perot, his wife. he has given a lot of money to the boy scouts. it is amazing their philanthropy. >> you mentioned earlier his involvement with the vietnam pows. can you tell us a little more
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what you know about his interest and that issue? how they created a divide between him and later president. >> we mentioned he graduated from the naval academy in annapolis as the president. that is a big deal. he was the sort of person in the navy who believe you are only as good as the guy left behind. he was a great leader. during those years when he was in the navy, he had sometimes had to go and get soldiers that were on leave or got drunk in a foreign town and got them back on the ship. it became sort of a hallmark -- you'd never leave anybody behind. he was very upset during the vietnam war that the united states -- we did not push the pow mia issue in that. ross perot stepped into the fray and it did very dramatically went to back channel negotiations with vietnam to say that we want every one of our guys back. he has become really a hero of
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the u.s. military veterans for his constant concern about our soldiers and our troops. it recently, i get a top for veterans day in dallas. it was a good group called daughters of world war ii. there were hundreds of world war ii veterans there. i got to talk to ross perot at dinner one night. one of the amazing stories he told me was that recently when our seals team killed osama bin laden, they thought so much of our special forces they shipped him a staff. he went to fort pierce, florida to the seal museum -- which people should definitely go visit if you are in town on holiday. i think our navy seals should be "time" people of the year. that was just a tribute to how
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conscientious he is about getting jobs, performance people and his companies, helping veterans whenever he can, particularly the special forces which he thinks represents the best of the best of the american spirit. >> we visited his boyhood home in texarkana. we will show you that. as we are looking at that, we want carolyn barta to talk about his interest with texas governors. >> he was appointed to a couple of task forces, one by former governor bill clements. another one by former governor mark white. clements was a republican, white succeeded him as a democrat. they both asked ross perot to serve.
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one was on education reform. i think it just points out how ross perot was always one to speak his mind. he was never afraid to say what he thought. he thought that in the public schools there should be special classes for talented kids. the brightest kids should go to better classes. some of the parents -- texas parents thought that is elitism. maybe we do not want that in our public schools. ross perot very sarcastically said, ok. let's put all the five girls on the drill team. girls's put all the fat on the drill team. let's have everybody be the quarterback. it was just sort of an example of how he always spoke his mind. he was never reluctant to take on the top if he was asked to do a job like that for a couple of governors that showed the democrats and republicans both liked him.
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for years his name had been mentioned as a potential candidates for something in texas because he was a leader. he was also in the tradition of old-time texas politicians. people like -- going back to sam houston in the republic of texas. that kind of charismatic leader. speaker sam rayburn, lbj, governor john connally, governor clements who was one to speak his mind, governor ann richards who was then a class by herself as well. he was so much like some of these older texans who would just tell it like it is. they did not mind doing the hard work. if he thought it would help the state or the country, he did not mind doing the hard work to do it. >> let me chime in at that
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point. we want to put this on the screen before we get to his campaign in 1992. in ran, a number of eds workers were held hostage. ross perot was personally involved in the rescue of those, something that was later captured in a book. it became a national best seller and later a movie on television. can you talk about how he did this effectively? >> this is an amazing story. in 1979, jimmy carter was president. you had the beginnings of an iranian revolution. two of his workers for his company for electronic data systems had been held captive. he wanted them sprung free. he went and hired former special forces people to go in and find a way to get that list.
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he ended up -- they ended up using a rally to spring not just his two employees, but about 10,000 political prisoners got released. they had a rendezvous and they got a very dangerous trip. they were eventually able to smuggle out through turkey. this was a highly successful extraction maneuver of getting in there and getting his guys back. he gets back to about the pows and mias. ross perot works and -- he believes in loyalty first and foremost. he will do anything for you. if you listen to people that know him, that is the number one trade. personal loyalty to people he believes in.
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>> we have a great photograph. it is of him and richard crenna from the movie. it is 1992, set the stage about the reelection of george h. w. bush at how the public was feeling about him. >> remember, he had quite an impressive record of foreign affairs. he oversaw the berlin wall coming down, the breakup of the soviet union, the head of the cold war. in 1991, the gulf war which most people thought was a great success of ousting saddam hussein from kuwait. the economy was stagnant. by 1992, pat buchanan was going after president bush as having a silver spoon in his mouth and
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was an elite out of touch -- there was a populist revolt within the republican party. also, you had another resurgence of jerry brown coming in. bill clinton gets the nomination. you have the new democrat bill clinton and george herbert walker bush. suddenly ross perot goes on cnn and says i will run as an independent if i can be on the ballot in all 50 states. i am not going to go out there and run the typical campaign. people want my ideas, particularly balancing the budget and stopping of outsourcing of jobs. he was opposed to the war in iraq because he thought it was going to be a mistake.
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special forces should have gone in and killed saddam hussein. he watched his amazing third- party run and started soaring in the polls and became the darling of the summer of 1992. we will pick up the rest of the story in a little bit. >> let's show that larry king live interview where ross perot announces his willingness to run. >> let's go down to grassroots america were the people are hurting. people are saying, why are we in this mess? first of all, look in the mirror. we are the owners of this country. we act like white rabbits to get programmers from messages coming out of washington. >> is there any scenario in which she would run? did you give me a scenario where you would say, ok. i am in. >> if you are that serious, you the people are that serious, you register me in 50 states. if you are not willing to organize and do that, then this
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is all just talk. i am saying to ordinary folks, if you are dead serious i want to see some sweat. i want you in the ring. >> let me ask you about how much of a surprise that announcement was by the time it was made in february of 1992. >> i guess it surprised most people. the truth of the matter is, he had been out on the -- making speeches for, you know, several years. in particularly, leading up to the larry king live interview, he had in fact just a couple of weeks before that, he was in tennessee to speak to a business group. he was interviewed from a reporter there.
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he told him virtually the same thing. he said if he saw some skin in the game. if people would get in the ring and get him on the ballot, he but think about doing it. nothing much came of that. it was published. ross perot was talking to a man in tennessee and another one in florida who were activists in trying to draft him to run. john j. hooker in tennessee, a flamboyant businessman kept calling in and talking to him trying to get him to run. it got to the point where they started talking about, where should i announce? the considered conventional sources like "the new york times," "l.a. times," "wall street journal." he liked larry king live. throughout the campaign, he
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liked going on talk shows where he could talk and get his message out. as i was told the story, he had the editor publisher there formally call larry king live. i am not sure whether he set it up or just told them to ask the question. ross perot said he was going on larry king live to talk about the economy. he made an impulsive statement. he never thought it would go anywhere. the truth of the matter is he had been thinking about this for quite a long time. he made a speech in tampa to a group called "throw the hypocritical rascals out." a man down there was trying to do a draft campaign. there were signs "draft perot." he was curious about it. how do you get on 50 ballots? he asked some of his staff
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people to do some research to see how you get on the ballot. even mulling it over in his head for a good while, it was a surprise to most of the country. i think he had been doing it for a good while. but his challenge to his supporters to get him on the ballot became the subject of carolyn barta's book that she contends is all about the people who followed ross perot and how they were galvanized to move outside of the conventional two party system in support of issues. we will talk a lot more about that as the program continues. these are back-to-back clips that give you a sense of flavor. we mentioned that ross perot was very critical of the george bush's gulf war. we will hear from that in an interview he gave to c-span in 1992.
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also in the spring of 1992, you will hear a clip from a very well-known texas journalist molly ivans who has now passed. she is very well known in texas politics. she was asked to talk about this texas politician she knew so well. >> they should understand why we are going to war. let's take the example you gave me. it was four months before the white house could figure out why we were doing it. finally they got it together and it was we had to get rid of nuclear systems and hussain. we did not accomplish any objectives. if i knock on your door and say i would like to borrow your son for the middle east so that this guy can have his throne back, you would probably hit me right in the mouth. >> i was writing about that
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format they had during the reagan years. i was talking about why it was a bad idea. if you make more than $17,000 a year, you are now in the same tax bracket as h.r. perot. i then added, comma, who makes more than $1 million a year. i made the fatal journalistic error, i did not check. the next day the guys at our business desk in dallas laughing and saying, ross perot makes $1 million a day.
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[laughter] then a phone rang and there was an operator saying ross perot calling collect for molly ivans. [laughter] it really is funny. i like the guy. i am sure he is politically incorrect to an extent it would make people's teeth hurt around here. i do like ross perot. he is a hard guy to dislike. basically guys who have made a lot of money and business have a hard time working in a system of checks and balances. >> our guest here in washington d.c. is douglas brinkley,
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presidential historian. and in dallas, carolyn barta. let's begin your telephone calls starting what ralph watching us in chicago. >> thank you. he missed his chance by not calling for a roadmap to peace on drugs as successful contenders grant used medical cocaine and jfk used speed medically.
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washington, jefferson, jackson, and lincoln used medical marijuana. each of our last three successful contenders used both grass and coke medically as well as recreationally. thank you. >> we are really getting at is the so-called war on drugs which became a popular phrase in 1980s in the united states. the problem was all of these urban centers -- whole generations of kids getting addicted to different types of narcotics. his whole life he has been a champion of education. working for public schools in particular, there were public schools where drug gangs were taking over. you could not go into them including in dallas which was
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he was tough on that issue, so if you are a libertarian and believe drug should be legal in the united states, ross perot would not be on your side. >> that is on the line from plano, texas. >> i'm glad you're having this discussion. i want to make a comment and question. he had a profound impact here in plano. he ended up moving its headquarters here and because of that, dr. pepper and a few other corporations decided to move your as well. later on, he ended up sounding perot systems here. my question is about adult -- admiral stock sale. -- admiral stock dale. he did not look too good in the
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vice-presidential debate. i know how much it cost him, but it certainly didn't make him look good. what was the thinking behind it selecting him as his vice- presidential candidate? >> the admiral is one of the greatest americans who ever lived. he's one of the most decorated naval officers in u.s. history. of course, he had been a pow in the vietnam war and organized what they called the alcatraz gang of how to have a pow resistance. i think he won something like 26 medals, numerous silver stars, a medal of honor winner and later went on to become president of the naval war college. we're dealing with a very serious person. ross perot just admired him.
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he thought this was the type of person we needed in government and so he chose him as his vp. it was an interesting choice. what people forget in 1992 is ross perot did well and the debates. he won the first debate against clinton and bush and some would say he won all three. three debates, he was at 8% and post debates, he hit 19%. stockdale struggled. he only had about a week to prepare debating with dan quayle and al gore and he got out of the gate wrong by making a comment like whoever my? he actually got a lot of applause -- a lot of applause when he did the debates but the media went to town on him. he was really not ready for the media frenzy you have to expect. it made some people question
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whether ross perot could be closed -- to be president because some people did not think stockdale had the political skills to be president. on the other hand, somebody should do a biography of this man because they don't come any better. i hate that we remember is fumbling of the debate question and not remembering what extraordinary military -- the elected service of admiral stockdale is almost unparalleled. >> aspirin progressed into summer and people enthusiastic about ross perot began the work of meeting the challenge of getting his name on the ballot in all 50 states, will you describe to our audience and the ballot aspects and how it existed in 1992 and how big a task they face? >> it was a huge task. in order to get on the ballot in
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any state, the have to meet the laws of that state. if it's a petition he have to get 100,000 names or you pay $1,000, it could be a range of requirements for getting on a petition. it's extraordinarily diverse -- but in most cases, it's very hard because you have to collect all of these petitions names in most cases and sometimes you have a very narrow window in which to do it. what happened after larry king live is people started calling the ross perot headquarters saying they wanted to get in the rain and do what they could do to make cameron. so they set up a phone bank there at his headquarters in dallas and volunteers came in and manned the phone banks.
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they were having people call from all over the country. they said at a sophisticated phone bank where someone would call in and if they were from a certain state, did they want to work on the petition drive or volunteer or no when prospero was going to be on tv. they would go on to answer the person's question. but what the perot organization had to do -- and he called in sick people from his company and asked him to start figuring out -- he called in six people from his company and asked him how to do this. how we work with people volunteering in all the states to find out what the law is in that state and start working to do it? but it was an enormous task.
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once you get on the ballot and reach a certain threshold, you established a ballot position for the future. ross perot established a ballot access position in 1992, 1996, and it established it in 1996 that pat buchanan who ran on the reform party ticket in 2000 had the ballot access. initially, it's almost impossible. but he never feared doing the impossible. he got his team to work and got leaders in every state to handle the petition drive if that was what was needed in that state. >> as spring moved into summer, ross perot was reaching 39% of
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polls. so two-thirds of people were beginning to take him seriously. bill clinton moving toward his nomination. the incumbent president, george bush, probably what was happening in this challenge from ross perot. can you tell us about the relationship? >> bush 41 is really a houston figure. about international companies, oil trading and international industry. ross perot was working with ibm and his fund data service company. different texas industries and different texas geographies, but they got into a terrible feud over the pows and mias issue. he accused the cia of being part of a drug trade in southeast
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asia, that they were doing/fund money by selling heroin and other opiates. >> we should interject that george bush was head of the cia. >> exactly. there was no love lost between church -- between george herbert walker bush and ross perot. but that's politics. the bigger question in 1992 is we just heard about this populist campaign approach but remember, he put somewhere around $12 million into its own money into the game. -- $12 million of his own money into the game and was able to buy these half an hour tv commercials. in one of them, he garnered about 10.5 million viewers. following no real rules and george herbert walker bush had been head of the republican party and clinton was the darling of the democrat party.
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perot was filling this vital center and was trying to champion the middle-class everyday american people verses special interest. he's the original anti money in washington got an that's an issue we're talking about now. he saw that was eight going -- he saw was going to be a duma for us. >> when ross perot and bill clinton run and try to get neck- and-neck johnson and roosevelt -- do you think we need to go back and see what we can do about jobs everything went when people have the economy and talk about the republicans and everything. you can't put the problem on
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president barack obama and people have to come together and help the people and give people what they want in the country. >> reflecting the comments there about playing to the middle- class of america. the next call is from leland, north carolina. >> i was one who signed up for ross perot and i was definitely responsible for more than 20 of my friends who i convince not to vote democratically and vote for ross perot. >> looking back with hindsight of 20 years, how do you feel about that whole effort for mr. perot? >> first of all, i appreciate he went outside the box. one of his most important speech was the chicken and ships -- you
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have to bring that tape out. when did know anything about chicken and the other didn't know anything about computer chips and i thought that was one of the most laughable moments because both president bush and president clinton had no idea what was going on. they look sort of dumfounded. i was proud my sorority sister was head of that. she moderated that the debate. but i was somewhat concerned about his daughter. i hope you guys mentioned something about his daughter -- she was -- he was going to leave the campaign. that was a curiosity as well as i was not really quite sure his feelings about race. i felt comfortable. he had a very large turnout in
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flint, mich. at the hyatt regency. there was all kinds of uaw people there and they were very excited about this man because he seemed to be very sincere. when he was telling the volunteers that you need to put skin in the game because he's not going to put all his money in and see it go -- see it go for naught. but i think he was responsible for any other third-party candidate to be involved. >> thank you very much. i'm sure we will hear from other people involved with the perot campaign. there is a couple of issues -- i want you to answer one aspect of the question and that is ross perot's views on race. >> on race? >> yes. >> on race?
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he made a speech at the naacp in the course of the campaign. this was shortly before he got out. things had not been going well in the campaign. the press was determined to put him through a primary because he had not been through one and there had been a lot of negative stories about how he was conspiratorial and investigated people and looking into his business, everything, his family. things were not going well and he did not like the way the campaign was going at that point. he agreed to go make this speech at the naacp and in the course of this speech, there was a phrase of something like "you and your people."
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for whatever reason, after a was over, people interpreted it as racist. that he was making some kind of racist tape and. it really devastated him because he had this image of himself as a great humanitarian who was very tolerant of -- racially tolerant and had no animosity or racial prejudices. he came off sounding like a racist. not long after that, he did get out. >> we will pick up the story because we mentioned some of our viewers that he was at 39% in the polls and people working on ballot access was successful and about half the states. then on july 16th, 1992, an
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announcement from ross perot about his campaign. then just 2 1/2 months later, a second announcement. we will watch a little of both. >> we have set among ourselves and publicly that we must win in november. we must win a majority of electoral votes. as you know, if we cannot win in november, the election will be decided in the house of representatives. since the house of representatives is made up of primarily democrats and republicans, our chances of winning would be pretty slim. now that the democratic party has revitalized itself, i have concluded we can now win in november and the election will be decided in the house of representatives. since the house of representatives does not pick the president until january, the new president will be unable to use the months of november and december to assemble the new
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government. i believe it would be destructive for us to continue our program since this program would obviously put elite house of representatives and be disruptive to the country. -- would put it in the house of representatives and destructive to the country. therefore i will not become a candidate. >> the volunteers know this is a critical time in our nation's economy. neither party has addressed the issues that concern the american people. they asked me to run this campaign on the issues and ensure the people problems the american people are concerned with will be dealt with after this election is over. i know i hurt many of the volunteers who worked so hard through the spring and summer when i stepped aside in july. i thought it was the right thing to do. i thought both political problems would address the problem -- both political parties would address the problems that face the nation. we gave them the chance, but
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they did not do it. the volunteers forged ahead and put me on the ballot in the final 26 states after july 16th. the day we were on the ballot in all 50 states, the volunteers requested i come back in because the political parties had not responded to their concerns. my decision in july hurt you and i apologize. i thought i was doing the right thing. i made a mistake and i take full responsibility for it. there's only one issue now starting today and that's what's good for our country? looking back won't solve any of our problems. looking forward, working together, we can solve anything. >> you followed this campaign and understood the disappointment of the people who were working for perot. what did you come to learn about the reason for leaving in july and getting back in in october?
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>> i think there were several reasons he decided to get out. the press were doing a lot of investigative stories he did not like. but another thing happening in the campaign -- they brought some professionals in to help with the campaign and the pros had started taking over. it got really out of hand. he already had a carter guy who had been a consultant and then he brought in ed rollins. ed rollins wanted to do a slick tv ad and do the traditional campaign. press conference everyday and perot did not want all that. he wanted a very simple campaign and wanted to do it differently than anybody had ever done before.
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he wanted to talk to the american public on tv and wanted to do is infomercials' or he would buy time and again on tv ads show his charts and explain what was wrong with america and how to fix it. he thought he had lost control of the campaign and it wasn't fun anymore. i think for a variety of reasons, he decided this is not going anywhere, we are not going to win, it is grueling, and we might as well cut off. then there is another part to the story. his volunteers were mostly devastated. they were crying. they were so upset. a lot of these people put their lives on hold to work for him and get him on the ballot and and all of a sudden he is pulling the plug like this.
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but some of them are smart enough to see through that and he urged the volunteers to go ahead and get him on the ballot because that would be their leverage. some of them thought he will probably come back and, in fact, he came back and did the kind of campaign he wanted to do all along. he wanted to do a short campaign. he always said he thought campaigns should be no longer than five months. he had five weeks when he came back in october. he did his infomercials and he went on talk shows and he finished a campaign like he started it. >> let me take a call from mike in minneapolis. >> great program. i have been watching all of this series. mr. perot, during his campaign,
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he bought these commercials on tv and i didn't remember this as a young person, he was illustrating all the debt america has and going through all of those things. i felt those were really powerful presentations. ever since then, i've seen the candidates use that powerful presentation. the other thing is i heard mr. perot has accused former president george bush 41 of disrupting his daughter's wedding and he wanted to take revenge and that's one of the reasons he left. in today's elections, who would mr. perot be supporting? theet's show you a clip of infomercials and the charts. we will talk about the use of campaign infomercials and charts to illustrate national policy issues. >> tonight, ross perot, plain talk about jobs, debt and the
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washington mess. >> good evening. we have talked a lot of -- we have talked a lot of the importance of having the american people informed so they can make important decisions. this is our first town hall. i thought would be a good idea to make -- to take this most important problem first. that's the economy and jobs. here's the picture on our country's debt. look at how it has grown over the years. we're up to $4 trillion in debt. that is a staggering load for our country. to help you understand how fast this debt has grown, the green is the debt we had in 1980. the red is the debt that has been incurred in the last 12 years. we've had an enormous growth in debt and we don't have a thing to show for it. here's another headache.
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it's like the guy that went into the hospital and thought he had a sore arm and found out he had gangrene. we've told people we can handle it. look right here at the red. 70% of that $four trillion debt is due in four years. folks in washington financed long-term problems short-term to keep the interest rates down. that's suicide in business, suicide and personal life and suicide in government. >> did ross perot began the trend of the charts or is that uniquely perot? >> i think it is a uniquely perot. you see it now in congress all the time, but this was hitting a large audience and what is amazing is that it still the issue of our time. he was trying to drive home the point that we were going to go down as a country for kept wrecking of debt. he was a business person and a fiscal conservative -- if we
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keep racking up debt. he wanted to make that point more than anything else. he once said i grew up as a young man wanted to become a pearl and i ended up becoming an irritant to the oyster. he wanted to wake up the -- he wanted to wake us up to what he saw as a very large problem. maybe 10 years ago, after the clintons administration, we were getting a surplus. but in this environment, despite chart, when you put that chart up and today we are $15 trillion in debt, perot was trying to wake us up like paul revere that this could be the doom of the united states if we did not address this problem. >> we have had to callers that asked about mr. perot's accusations that there were dirty tricks concerning his daughter's wedding. that was one of the issues he
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talked about in his departure from the campaign in july. in the interest of time, can you briefly tell the story of what the accusations or? >> i don't think he accused bush of doing it, but he thought the republicans are playing dirty tricks. his daughter was getting married. it was one of the reasons he did get out. i should add mentioned it before. i don't know -- the story was there going to put her head on somebody else's body in a photograph and selling to get the tabloids to use it. he was very concerned about his family. his family was really special
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and his daughter's wedding -- the thought of that happening was too much for him and was another reason he did get out. >> is there anyone on the national stage today who would be an heir to mr. perot? >> one of the things you are watching, ross perot is kind of inventing a new third party movement. there have been other third- party movements, strom thurmond and the dixiecrats, george wallace and the american party -- but he was trying to create a centrist movement. that's why he hired at rollins, the great republican strategist and hamilton jordan, the great democrat who is trying to play down the middle. i don't think we have somebody willing to get in the game like that. sometimes bloomberg, the mayor
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of new york, his name has been invoked and donald trump, he does these things for his own publicity but doesn't get to the issues. in thinking about ross perot, he actually did it. it's one thing to talk about it, but to get to the point where you are getting 19% of the american people, that 19% is still the middle-class center that both president obama and whoever the republican nominee is fighting for -- the working class, blue-collar, patriotic, taxpaying american citizen in rust belt towns or tumbleweed towns in the west that are hurting economically. he's talking about massive reform. he's most like theodore roosevelt, the bull moose party in 1912. they were the two most successful third-party notes, not electoral votes, but popular votes of the 20th-century. >> one question we did not
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answer from earlier caller was whether or not mr. perot's strained relationship with george bush was one of the animating factors in his campaign. do you know if that was a factor? >> i think it was a factor. going back to the pow mia days, he thought when bush was vice president, he thought the administration was not doing enough to get the pows out of vietnam. then he thought when he led to the persian gulf war without a declaration of war -- he thought that bush was too focused on foreign affairs and was not addressing the domestic problems of the day. he thought he did not understand the domestic problems of the day. the problems were very much like
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today -- there are so many similarities with the economy and the recession and a loss of jobs and people feeling like it was no longer a government by, of and for the people. but it was a government for the politically powerful and for the special interests. many similarities, but i do think he fell george w. bush was not up to his job and that's one of the reasons he wanted to run. but back to the question of whether anyone could do it today -- maybe somebody like bloomberg, mayor bloomberg, who does have their own money who could do a similar campaign, but he was uniquely positioned to run at that particular time. a conservative with a populist
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touch what happened to the reform party over the years shows the difficulty in maintaining this kind of third- party movement with yes, teddy roosevelt of 1912 got of 88% and then comes ross perot and he got 20 million popular votes and no electoral votes. >> we're at the top of the hour of one common love to go. >> i think the viewers need to understand when you showed the pie chart and ross perot was talking about the deficit and debt. that is the eric cantor of that
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today. but what makes him cedras is how are we going to make up the money? what tasks gasoline. let's put 10 cents a gallon for five years and raise billions to pay that off. but petroleum lobby and but -- and the oil lobby of texas did not like this idea. but if we would have done a back then, the sustainable, renewable energy revolution, more people paying more for gas may trigger that innovation. the west very much like that, so that pie chart, it seems like a conservative tide chart and on the other hand, how to pay it is something up democrats like and it makes him a true centrist. >> we're halfway through our to our look at the contender, "ross perot and the 1992 and 1996 elections. >> i just loved it prospero.
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i remember the 1920's and -- i just loved ross perot. all through the political spectrum, down through those years, franklin roosevelt and all of the president's, and we come to today total insanity. i watched the house of representatives and a watch the senate and everything has been turned around so that only certain people with a great deal of money, it appears, are able to turn the elections to their good. i wish that the good, solid, rock-solid sensibility of prospero could do anything to help us today. -- of ross perot could do anything to help us today. >> i had a good question but i
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want to make a comment and i'm glad i came after the woman who -- the phone call prior, living in the 1920's. i was in my early 20s in the '90s and ross perot was the equivalent of ron paul. the young people loved ross perot. i used to run home and i could not wait to watch his pie charts. i learned so much from him and i almost forget bill clinton in those debates because it really was -- ross perot was a rock star for the people in their 20s. he had a huge following. my question is he was very good friends with john mccain. from what i understand, he lost touch with john mccain when john left his first wife.
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but he recently called a reporter from the new york times when john mccain was running for president and i believe that reporter wrote an article because ross perot made a personal phone call. do you know anything about his falling out with john mccain? >> he was for mitt romney for the republican nomination, last election, not john mccain. got to understand mr. perot is not somebody played right-left politics. he's not what we get on our table -- on a cable talk shows. anybody thinks is abandoning principles, doing away with pacs or superpacs -- you could see mccain compromising on his integrity and principals, so
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perot abandoned him at that point. this side of ross perot is about action. whatever it takes to fix the problem. he's not really about talk. there is a famous "in their family -- i don't want to hear about people who say the river is dirty, want the people were going to clean the river and get out there and do things. he is enigmatic and certain things. you cannot pigeonhole him. he is a texan at once strict gun control and his four pro environmental protection and is pro-choice, yet he is tough on issues on corporate america and the outsourcing of jobs. he's tough on the war on drugs. what you get is an old-style can do american who believes in american exceptional as some that feels that losing our edge,
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somehow after world war two, americans got lazy. not just everyday working people american, but everyone is looking for leisure time and perks instead of fixing the country. country comes before corp. to ross perot and he was diagnosed in 92 and 96 american politics are broken, the financial system is broken and the military is not broken. he's questioning how we fix the other two and he still feels that way today. >> the caller mentioned as a young person in her twenties watching the debates and cheering on mr. perot. our next set of clips is a montage from two of the three presidential debates that happened that year. >> these young people, when they get out of this wonderful university will have difficulty finding a job. we've got to clean this mess up, leave this country in good shape and pass on the american dream to them. we've got to collect the taxes to do it.
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if there is a fairer way, i'm all ears. [laughter] but -- let me make it very clear -- people don't have the stomach to fix these problems. i think it's a good time to face it in november. if they do, they will have heard the harsh reality. you implement that map where they pay people $1 an hour, have no health care, no retirement, no pollution controls etc., etc., etc. you are going to hear the giant sucking sound of jobs being thrown out of this country right when we need a tax base to pay the debt and pay down the interest on the debt and get our house back in order. who can give themselves a 23% pay raise anywhere in the world except congress? who would have 1200 airplanes
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worth $2 billion a year just to fly in? i can't have a reserved parking place at the airport, why should my servants? item have an indoor gymnasium or every other thing that can think of or place where i can make free tvs to send my constituents to help them get elected next time. i'm paying for all that for those guys. >> ross perot and three moments from the debates in 1992. for the incumbent, george h. w. bush, there is a tough moment in those debates. he was captured looking at his watch during one of the debates and that became emblematic. we've got a photograph of it -- do you remember that moment? >> of course i remember that moment. george herbert walker bush had a tough year in 1992. everything was going wrong. james carville said, it's the economy stupid. the debates haven't always been there.
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1960, we had a candy-nixon debates, but we didn't have debates all away -- the kennedy- nixon debates. there was the feeling from george herbert walker bush that this was a waste of time. it was not what building an organization are building the country was about, but it did not help president bush to be glancing at his watch in that regard and i think it cost him in the election. perot and clinton did better in these debates than bush. >> how did ross perot affair in the debates in the eyes of the public? >> i agree with doug that he probably won the debates. when george bush looked at his watch, it reinforced the idea that people had that he was not really engaged in the campaign. the debates were critical for perot. when the debates were over, he had risen back up to maybe 21%.
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in 1996, he was not in the debates. that many big difference. he may be only got 8%. going back to the question of "what else do it today, the question might be getting into the debates. the commission on presidential debates has such stringent requirements, somebody would have to be a 15% threshold in five different polls before they would be allowed to be in good general election debates. the debates were critical for perot and the success he had for getting his message out. >> it longtime texas journalist who wrote about ross perot's 1992 campaign and the people it
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helped him get on the ballot. but take our next call from houston, texas. >> besides having the most popular boats since fdr, what similarities the seat with ross perot and teddy roosevelt on their outlooks and politics? second, who were some of the role models for mr. perot? he seems to follow the mantra of willing -- of william jennings bryant that the buck stops here. >> douglas brinkley has written a book about teddy roosevelt. >> his to evergreen heroes or teddy roosevelt and winston churchill. we forget a lot that both of them were considered intr's case, a damned cowboy.
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mckinley was assassinated and the republican party machine did not trust him. he was considered an iconoclast, an individualist and that whole cowboy notion. ross perot grew up in texarkana and his father was a cotton broker but also broke horses and went to cattle auctions and considered himself a bit of a texas cowboy. everything about the door roosevelt impressed ross perot and i think gave him courage. if roosevelt could do a bull moose party, why couldn't i in 1992? churchill, anyone who loves freedom, democracy and grit, winston churchill is your figure. those of the people he admires most. he also likes george washington and has a portrait of him. but there is also patrick henry. we talk about the founding
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fathers to actually become president, but this is about the contenders and how you have a revolution without patrick henry? those are the types of people prospero admirers. >> -- that types of people ross perot and admirers. >> i would like to challenge dr. brinkley a little bit. i think the comparison with t.r. is heavily overdrawn. you mentioned just a few minutes ago, if i understood correctly, that perot favored the flat tax, which is the antithesis of progressives. i think that t.r. was a way out there on the left and even obama was out there to speak on the 100th anniversary of his speech there. he may have supported an oil tax, but i don't think he was a wilderness warrior.
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>> nor was winston churchill. wasn't suggesting that -- these were his heroes. t.r. was a many-sided american. many people see in roosevelt what they want to see in him. but with t.r. and his love of the navy and ross perot's devotion to the naval academy -- you cannot go to the naval academy and not admire theodore roosevelt. and then the cowboys side of t.r.. but when you get the bull moose party platform, there are many differences and decades apart. but the boy scout part, you mentioned that ross perot is an eagle scout. theodore roosevelt was the original -- i would not compare
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them in the way you are suggesting to the roosevelt or winston churchill, they're just people he admired and collects books on them like to read about. they inspired him in the same way henry ford or thomas edison a inspired him in business. >> i voted for perot in 1992 and i believe that's how clinton got elected and bush didn't seem like he got elected or not. >> thank you very much. do you think ross perot was responsible for the election of clinton? >> i do. i think there were two impacts.
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similar to teddy roosevelt, he split the republican vote. in that way, roosevelt denied taft a second term. perot split the conservative vote and denied bush's second term. but he did another thing by getting in the race and beating up on bush all along the way, he softened him up for clinton to come in and make the kill. i think it was a two-tiered affect their. the campaignhow would have played out without them, but part of the impact of his being in the race was that clinton was elected. >> the next call is from rick in memphis, tennessee. >> glad to be here. i'm going to assert ross perot, the last time he ran, was
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exactly what the united states needed. and now, there's no question he's exactly what the united states needs. i'm not too up on what's going on, but why is he not in the 2012 race? also, why in the world are neither the republican democratic candidates making a run in ross perot's image? i got see how anybody running like that could not win. >> wireless gussying the anyone run like ross perot -- why are we not seeing anyone run like ross perot question are >> i think he was past his time. he's older now, i think he's not interested in getting back into the fray. >> he is 81 by our calculation.
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born in 1930. >> does ross perot have any opinion on fellow reform party member, jesse ventura? >> he did not get behind jesse ventura was -- that was a little surprising because ventura, being a navy seal and a reform governor of minnesota, but ross perot did not really get behind him in his efforts very much. there's a bit of a schism there. i think by 1996, ross perot felt like he did what he wanted to do. i stress for people this notion of being an irritant. he was always trying to make us pay attention to issues. i know when we talk about running, you're talking about winning the right -- winning the white house. but more them personally becoming president, he probably would not have picked stockdale
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, if that was his sole intention in 1992, to write -- to remind people of duty, honor and old- style american values and grapple with that debt issue, which as a business person he found propulsive, a bad road for america to take. >> -- he found repulses. >> but look on the screen and have the incumbent president, george h. w. bush did as bill clinton did in the final tally. as we do that, we will listen to judy in ogden, utah. >> the one guy that got us all interested in politics back then. he came up with the nafta agreement and we used to go to the meetings and we tore that nafta upgrading -- that nafta agreement apart. people ought to read that some day and see the fiasco they did on us.
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but can you see anybody around in the future who would be anybody like him? >> i think they would have to come out of the military today. used to be coming to be president, you had a military background. but i think ross perot is part of that tradition where maybe an admiral or general some day will come in and run a third party movement. but i don't see anybody out there ready to get skin in the game that is taken seriously. you've got to have the money to do a third party and as previously mentioned, it's hard to get into the debates the way the system is set up today. but america always produces unusual people at key moments and i'm sure there will be some time in the future and a serious third-party candidate. >> america has a flirtation with business people as president,
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but it only gets so far. there is talk about herman cain earlier this year and mayor bloomberg was mentioned as a businessman who might solve america's economic issues. we get so far as the electorate and and not all the way to the finish line. can you talk about the kinds of people americans seem to want as leaders? >> i think that is a wonderful point. we like the idea of someone who is not part of washington, somebody is going to do what is right for the country and not be beholden to the democratic party or republican party. we like thinking either people from the military or corporate people, somebody who runs a country would know how to run the government. yet once you have to start going on that tv shows and traveling and every aspect of your life gets investigated, i don't know how many people want to run anymore. it has become brittle. you have to run for two or three years nonstop -- it has become
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brutal. mitt romney, duking rich, have to raise about a billion dollars. -- mitt romney, a new gingrich -- the president has that very little time. i don't see how it's helping us. >> that caller mentioned prospero's involvement in nafta which was a halt -- the caller mentioned ross perot's involvement with nafta. that is a very well watched debate with vice president al gore on the "larry king live" program on cnn. >> i did not interrupt you. we have to have a climate in this country where we create
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jobs in the good old u.s. aid. >> i would like to say something about that because that's a direct political threat against anyone who votes for this. soldier doesn't know anything about business. >> i don't want to sit here and here you take shots at president clinton. >> if we keep shipping our manufacturing jobs across the border and around the world and deindustrializing our country, we will not be able to defend this country and that's a risk we will never take. >> he started out as head of united we stand he will end up as head of divided we fall. everything he's worried about will get worse if nafta is defeated. this is a historic opportunity to do that. >> thank you both for this historic evening. >> the body language in that clip is very interesting.
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some reporting suggest support for nafta before that debate was only about 34% and after, a measure directly related, but that when up to 57%. what was the view on how ross perot fired on this issue? >> i can't say. i don't recall. i remember he had the debate with al gore and i did not realize he lost that debate as decisively as you just said. i thought a lot of people agreed with his position of the giant sucking sound of job going's away. at -- in fact i think he has proved to be prescient about that fact. >> i just wanted to ask -- this t.r. -- the set up of the
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wildlife preserve of birds being poached -- did that ever come up in that debate -- i'm old but not that old. >> the recall the conversation -- conservation issues at the forefront of 1992? >> no. , but ross perot is worried about the environmental degradation going on in mexico. the caller was talking about the roosevelt and florida, protecting pelican island and creating our nation's first national wildlife refuge and then went in and saved the tortugas and saved part of what is being darling national forest. i would not put conservation in
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that way high on ross perot's was, but i would put him on the side of being a conservationist. he was in that environment, inclined to be pro-epa and many republicans don't like the epa and ross perot did because he did feel like companies needed to be regulated. >> in 1994, the gop had a historic retaking of the house of representatives. newt gingrich was looked upon as the architect of that and became speaker of the house and set the stage for a huge debate over the size of the debt leading to a government shutdown that pitted president clinton and newt gingrich against one another. how responsible for was ross perot's highlighting of the debate issue for those subsequent events? >> that the question. i do is quite important.
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-- that is a good question. ross perot is talking about paying for a with a gasoline tax, which you don't hear republicans talking about. it became a big worry of people by the time of -- the route the clinton era. looking at that famous gore- perot debate -- nafta became famous. al gore and bill clinton were pro-nafta and republicans were very pro-nafta. only the labor unions who were opposed to it and here you have ross perot, probably more right- center them left-center, equally opposed to it. i think the outsourcing of jobs more than anything else is what ross perot was focused on in the mid-1990s. >> in 1995, ross perot started
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to organize what became of reform party. can you tell us a little bit about that effort and how the reform party took shape? >> the people who had worked on the campaign in 1992 wanted to remain involved. for a while, they were very active at shadowing their congressman, sending letters and so forth. the reform party was organized to try to create a vehicle that would be a stable political influence. in the convention of 1996, perot and dick lamm, who had been the governor of colorado, indicated an interest of running on the reform party ticket and ross perot reemerged to lead the
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ticket. that probably was the high point for the reform party. after that came jesse ventura, elected governor of minnesota in 1998, i believe. in 2000, pat buchanan was the nominee of the party and you can was a firebrand conservative andthoughtbut he cd not ought motivate the reform party people like perot did. and the party was sort of found -- it initially was established with the same kind of priorities that perot had set in his first campaign. reducing the deficit. term limits. some of these issues that ended it up being in the contract for cannot america. so i think there was definitely
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an impact. and you saw the republican party co-opt some of those issues. term limits was never passed. but it was part of the contract. gingrich's contract. so i think that -- with buchanan in 2000, the party was struggling to find its core. what was it all about? and a lot of people thought that perot -- i mean, not perot, buchanan, did not really represent them. did not represent their interests very well. and i think what's happened since then, the party really has sort of fizzled. there's still a few state affiliates that are trying to be active, maybe hatch a dozen or so.
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but their presidential candidate got a handful of votes the last time around. so i think it just shows us that it's really very hard -- i thought that it was going to be a stable political influence. and that once established, that it would be a challenging party in years to come. but that's not happened. it certainly has just fizzled. and actually, i think sort of re-emerged in the tea party movement. so i think maybe these movements just have a short-term life. >> let's go to galveston, texas. joe is watching. >> yes, hello. >> yes, sir. >> well, you know, first of all, i would like to really, really thank c-span because every now and then people call in and say, you're on one side or you're on the other. but by and large, you're probably the most unbiased media available. and the greatest asset to being
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able to understand what's going on in our political situation that we have. and i really appreciate the way -- so many people on from both sides. and i think it's a wonderful, wonderful thing to watch. and ask all these questions. >> thanks for your kind words. do you have a comment about mr. perot? >> i do. first of all, i'm from texas. so we got really, really involved when ross perot was running. and he said so many things that made so much sense. and a lot of people got behind him. and first of all, i don't think that the balanceed budget would have happened had not ross perot been up there, having all those charts and graphs to educate people. and i would like to hear david brinkley's comment on that. and one more comment. and that would be that when they talk about teddy roosevelt, teddy roosevelt was the one that broke up standard oil in new jersey.
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and i can't imagine ross perot ever being someone that would condone breaking up a large corporation. teddy roosevelt was in a league of his hone but i would like to hear david's comment. >> it's doug brinkley who is our guest tonight and probably happens to you pretty frequently. >> it does. >> teddy roosevelt seems to have struck a chord. >> president obama talked about the new nationalism. and a couple of things i would like to mention. i'm reflecting on what we've been talking about here. one of the big things to keep in mind with ross perot in 1992 is that you had the soviet union collapse. the cold war ended in 1991. when perot is entering in 1992. the question, there was a lot of jubilation with that. we've been fighting the cold war from harry truman on down, taxpayers had built up this huge deficit to win the cold war.
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and the fact that perot was being this sort of irritant in the 1990's, worrying about our -- a deficit and everybody was running up deficits. all over the world. he seemed a little more erratic than anybody -- today, we hear these bites. and he seems prescient on a lot of things. but he was a fly in the ointment of 1992-93 when america was looking -- the buzz word was globalization. and also, political correctness became a great term. well, he wasn't keen on globalization. he was about america first. and he was kind of a curmudgeon in many ways on a lot of issues. so i'm not sure we could have even done this sort of retrospect on mr. perot like we're doing tonight, maybe even a decade ago. it would have seemed a little more of a quirky, offbeat character. but there are those sides to him in his biography. but his central premise of the points he raised are really -- resonate with people right now. and with theodore roosevelt, all -- the point about t.r. is only one.
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and that's about service to country. that's what t.r. was all about. you don't lie. you tell the truth. you stay loyal to your friends. and the service to the country. and that's that -- it's in the american grain. it's americanism. and that's what spoke to ross perot. not every issue that t.r. took on all this, but it was the character of the man. >> in 1996 the economy was getting pretty row bust. -- pretty robust. the tech bubble was part of our economic fabric. bill clinton was the incumbent president seeking re-election. the republicans had nominated long-time senator from kansas and senate leader bob dole. and the big difference our guest said was during the fall campaign, ross perot was not permitted to take part in the debates. on the screen right now are the results on election night. 1996 with president clinton achieving 49% of the votes. 379 electoral college votes.
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bob dole, 169 -- excuse me, 159 electoral college votes so just 40% of the vote. ross perot, zero. and different showing than his four years earlier. just over 8% of the popular vote in 1996 elections. our next clip is ross perot on election night, 1996, talking about the future of the reform party. >> we're going to keep the pressure on, on the major issues. i think they've gotten the word on campaign finance reform. don't you? [cheers and applause] navy repented and been reborn -- they've repented and been reborn and they will go to heaven and it's done. but that's got to stop. we have got to get that done. and we have got to get campaign reform in terms of the time for campaign and all that done. we must set the highest ethical and moral standards for the
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people who serve in our government. and all that has got to be changed from rules to laws in the next four years. and we're going to have to stand at the gate and keep the pressure on. and we will. [cheers] we will not let our children and grandchildren pay an 82% tax rate which he our government forecast they will. we have got to have a balanced budget amendment. we've got to have the plan to balance the budget. and all the things that you have fought so hard and so long for. and we've got to stand at the gate to make sure that happens. if we want to pass on a better, stronger country to our children. we will make the 21st century the best in our country's history. but you and i have to stay on watch. we have to keep the pressure on. and as i've said a thousand times to both parties, when they say what does it take to make all of you people go away?
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and that is do all of this, and then we don't have anything to talk about, right? it's done. thank you. you've worked night and day. you've done a tremendous job. take a little break. and then we'll climb back in the ring and keep the pressure on to see that everybody keeps those promises, right? [cheers] >> ross perot on election night in 1996. doug brinkley, he talked about the need for the people to keep the pressure on. but without a galvanizing figure, you often pointed out to us the truth is our national debt is three times what it was when ross perot was talking about it in 1992. what happened to the spirit and the energy of the people in that
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middle who were the perotites or reform party members? >> they're out there. i think they're called swing voters right now. i think many of them are independents. we have a lot of people that are independent. and many people that don't really want to be associated with the democratic or republican party. and perot's legacy speaks to that. at the outset of the program, you mentioned occupation wall street. people protesting on the left and tea party on the right. and it's about grassroots people getting engaged, getting involved. making themselves heard. so it's just not a group of money people kind of running our democracy. there's a spirit to ross perot. i've never been convinced he was dead serious about winning the white house in 1992 or 1996. i feel what he was trying to do which many of these contenders have tried to do, some of the ones that weren't -- just to stir things up. to get people to talk about issues. and he succeeded in that regard. you didn't have to win the white house to make a difference. it's about getting into the arena. and he took -- got beat up some. but he picked himself back up. and today, he's probably the first citizen of dallas with his business interests. and he created -- just
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recently, sold dell, not recently, a few years back, for a fortune. some of his business innovations. and if you can't be in dallas without being touched by his philanthropy. and you can't be a veteran of american wars and not have a debt to ross perot, too. so he's made a difference. and that's why he was sent the walking stick of bin laden or the navy seals. >> robert, you're on. good evening. >> yes. thank you for c-span. i remember the 1992 election well. and ross perot, he was a viable candidate. he was prescient on the deficit. he seemed to speak common sense. he was a patriot. he went to the nflpa academy -- to the naval academy. but he was unelectable because he was mercurial and started a company, e.d.s. that benefited from government contracts.
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he selected james stockdale for his vice president. and that debate was a gunfight and his candidate was not prepared for that. he dropped out. race, claiming dirty tricks by the republicans and re-entered the race. he had previously opposed mya lindh for the vietnam war memorial and did it in a relatively nasty way. candidate wasn't a who wasn't trying to win but i don't think he could have won. what do you think? >> i agree with that. i'm not sure it was possible to win. in 1992 or 1996 against bill clinton and the democrats and an incumbent president who had just won the gulf war and saw the breakup of the soviet union, german reunification and many other policy issues. so he was as i've said a few times now, somebody trying to raise consciousness level on issues that he thought were important for the country.
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and the reason he's important to history is some of those issues that he raised in 1992 are still with us today. and only in a more -- more of a fashion than 1992. look at things william jennings bryan said that happened in the new deal or something that charles evan hughes that reflects on the eisenhower era. perot raised some issues we are still grappling with and always a reminder that we have a third party option. that maybe sometime that if these other parties get too arrogant, there will be some voice from the heartland or of america that comes up and strikes a different chord. and i worry that the debates make it very hard for a third party candidate to get into the mix. so perot in that regard may be one of the last to have been able to pull that -- something like that off. >> carolyn barta mentioned ross perot in the summer of 1992 had hired ed rollins and hamilton jordan to be involved in his
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campaign. after the 1992 election, ed rollins who continued to -- in his political work, and is still active today, talks a bit about his view of the perot candidacy. we have a clip of that right now. >> the bottom line, it wasn't that perot was difficult to deal with. it was that perot never wanted to run that kind of a campaign. he always wanted to do what he did, run the last 30 days. and i think the -- that's all he thought he had to do. why should i waste all my money early when it really doesn't matter until the end? he never understood getting defined in a negative way during the summer. obviously the guy has a lot of paranoia. they always say about paranoia you only have to be right once to make it all worthwhile. [laughter] but the bottom line is it just -- he dent understand the political system. -- didn't understand the political system. had a disdain for it. that made it more and more difficult.
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when we were trying to argue what you had to do to -- deal with the media and lay out your issues and define yourself, he saw that as traditional politics and he was against traditional politics. well, in the end, he ran a very short-lived traditional campaign in which he ended up getting very negative in the end. and won 19% of the vote. if he would have run a real campaign, there was a very serious chance of this man being a very viable candidate for president. drawing an awful lot of support from both george bush and bill clinton. >> carolyn barta, you hear ed rollins' analysis after the fact. anything there that you agree or disagree with in his summation? >> well, yeah. i think that at one point, perot was a very viable candidate. but i think that he was as the caller said before, he was
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quirky. he was mercurial. and as people got to know more about him, that they were -- they questioned whether or not he was temperamently suited to be in the white house. and i'm not sure even that perot thought that he was suited to be in the white house. and perhaps the sentiment that's been expressed that he didn't really want to be president, he wanted to stir up the american people, he wanted to be the nation's civics teacher. he wanted to make democracy work again for the people. so i think that he resisted traditional politics in many ways. and for good reason. he thought that the way that political campaigns are run today are really silly. i mean, flying around from
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place to place trying to get a sound bite on network tv. a plane of press following you around. essentially in a bubble. listening to the same speech over and over again. what are they going to learn? he thought that the press should be out talking to the people. what are their concerns of the people? and then how are the candidates addressing those concerns? so i think rollins wanted to run a traditional campaign. perot didn't want to run a traditional campaign and for a good reason in his mind. he thought traditional campaigns are out of date and are not working for the american people. and i must say, i think that we've seen in election campaigns since then, that the media has just grown more and more powerful and dominant. in some of the campaigns. >> doug, as care len is
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talking, i was just -- carolyn is talking, i was just thinking about perotisms and his catch phrases in the age of twitter. >> gosh, yes. that's true. he would have probably been able to use twitter quite well. because that's -- he wanted to get words out there, ideas out there to the people. and we've talked about tonight, is innovating in the format or going on larry king, larry king was free media. and many politicians use that but buying these -- and keep in mind, he's -- it's hard to create another ross perot. he's just a maverick. he's an iconoclastic candidate and a billionaire and had the money to do what he did. and he would have enjoyed being president and would have served the people well but i don't think his heart was in it in 1992 or 1996. it was really about getting the democracy and the people back -- he -- his core, he disdains
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lobbyists. and washington is a town filled with lobbyists. >> ross perot not only took advantage of paid media, but benefited from the popular culture coverage of his campaign. next is a series of clips from "saturday night live" whose regular program on saturday nights took great advantage. ross perot candidacy in 1992. let's take a look. >> and because we at abc feel it is important for you to hear his views, and ross perot is with us from houston. mr. perot, do you feel that you have been blackballed by the two major political parties? >> it's like this. the other two candidates, they are not addressing the issues. >> thank you, mr. perot. >> my reform party is going to have a convention and volunteers want me, that's fine. but see, larry, this is not about me. it's about the american people plain and simple.
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>> ross, what about this commercial that aired last week? >> vote for me. i'm ross perot. i'm running for president. vote for me, please. would you vote for me? please, please, please, vote for me. [applause] >> this whole thing fascinates me, really. see, you don't have to be a ph.d. at harvard to know that our kids are going to to inherit a $4 trillion deficit. and that's just a crime, see. now, if i'm president, we start cleaning up this mess on day one. it's going to take some sacrifice, no doubt about it. but i know the american people are ready and prepared, this is your country, let's take it back.
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>> a clip from saturday night live in 1992 and 1996 and all but the first was dana carvey portraying ross perot. we have about 10 minutes left in our contenders discussion of ross perot and his 1992 and 1996 bids for the white house. let's take our next phone call for our two guests. from pleasantville, new york. tony, you're on the air. >> hi. good evening, susan, how are you? >> great, thanks. >> when ross perot in the spring of 1992, when ross perot was at about 32%, they had -- there were three books written about ross perot before most people even knew him. one was you mentioned wings of eagles. there was an autobiography by a dallas news reporter called ross perot and the best of the three at the time was doron leven's book irreconcilable differences, ross perot versus general motors. in may as i said, in may, after he had announced when he was at 32%, i watched sam donaldson on
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"this week with david brinkley" make a statement about ross perot, the conversation around the roundtable was basically this guy is at 32%. do you think he can win? and donaldson made a statement something to the effect of what do we know about this guy? he came out of nowhere. now, at that time, the three books were in print already. donaldson noted for being a big mouth covering the white house, making probably $500,000 a year to make a statement like that about ross perot, had not even read the books, probably, to make a statement. mr. brinkley, what do you think about and ms. barta, what do you think about abc news allowing sam donaldson to make a statement like that and not following it up? >> well, there's also -- i believe ken gross on perot, if anybody watching wants to read a real fine book, he was a new york journalist and it's an excellent book on perot. i don't know the moment you're talking about. sam donaldson i thought was a
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great and exciting commentator. certainly during the reagan years, he was always sticking the questions to president reagan. and they ended up becoming great friends. he's really a journalistic legend, sam donaldson. so i wouldn't want to say anything negative about him and i can't see the context of what you're talking about. but the spirit of it is i understand, and you're making a good point. sometimes the washington media people think that nobody is accomplished at their -- if they're not part of a kind of new york-washington-boston axis. legende's ross perot, a at that time, and in texas, which everybody in texas knew quite a bit about. because he had worked on education reform and most well- known person in the state of texas. so it just seems to be donaldson -- the spirit of it is what you're saying. just screwed up.
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>> carry lynn barta, from 19 -- carolyn barta, from 1996 after he lost the second time how involved was ross perot? did he exit from the national stage or did he stay involved? >> pretty much exited, i think. he was not -- not particularly involved in issues or in the reform party after that. i think -- 1992 was really the unique time. because of the -- the sense of alienation that people had with government. the dissatisfaction with government. the economic problems. and then 1996, as you said earlier, when things started to come back, the political climate didn't exist anymore. and he did not -- he wanted the people to stay active. and involved. but the climate didn't exist for the kind of perot phenomenon to happen again as it did in
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1992. and i think that was sort of his swan song. he got out after that. >> sacramento, hello, to jason as we talk about ross perot. you're on. >> yeah. i just want to ask, how do you feel perot would do in the 2013 election currently if he was on the same wavelength that he was on in 1992? and another question, if you don't mind, was i believe it was -- we said 19% of the vote in 1992 or something. >> that's right. >> i recall it being in the millions. i forget the number. but i know it wasn't too far behind for a third party. it was a -- there you go. my question is how is it possible that he didn't win one electoral vote? i know it's how electoral process works. but i find it just amazing that not one vote, not one state, he had the majority in, not even a small state. just amazing to me with the numbers that he has.
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just very shocking and shocking in 1992 when i voted for him and it was shocking to look at the numbers again now. >> jason, your first question about how he would do in the 2012 election, mr. perot is in his early 80's. are you seriously interested in bringing him back into the process at this point? >> thank you. of course not now. but if it were 20 years later when he actually was -- if he was the same as 1992. how would he do now? >> if can you take ross perot of that period and drop him into our current time frame, how would he do? >> he came in second in 1992 in utah and maine. did not win a state. and it just tells you that is where his support was. this was -- very hard for a third party candidate to track against a democratic party and the apparatus and when you have -- at any given time, half of congress and half of the senate on your side and analysts there were really ultimately a two- party system. once in a while, a third party movement comes in there and
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it's a slap in the face to the other two parties. the seminal question which we can't answer that historians can debate but we'll never have a definitive answer is who did perot help and hurt in 1992? if he had not run, could george herbert walker bush beat bill clinton? did he actually serve as a spoiler for president bush? or as some people suggest his support came from liberals and conservatives and it was a wash. in a way, that 19% wasn't that relevant. because he drew -- he was so center oriented in many ways. radically center if you like but took from both right and left. and we can't really clearly answer that question. but most people would say he hurt george herbert walker bush. that he was more conservative perot, he came from texas and that challenge hurt bush a lot. because he was the incumbent. so bill clinton was helped by perot in 1992. >> some analysis of the numbers
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of supporters suggest that 70% of the perot voters had voted for george bush in 1998. >> 1988. 1988. excuse me. we have a couple of minutes left. to the second caller, the caller's second question. i want to pay a clip and this is our last one of the evening. this is one from ross perot's infomercials that he purchased before the 1992 election. and the 30-minute commercial in october, the first one he did, october of 1992, and he looks ahead from 1992 to the year 2020. let's listen. >> let's look at the growth of federal spending and see if there's a trend here. go on to 1950, there's obviously a trend here. we've gone up to 25% of our gross national product. that's excessive. and hold on to your hat. if you and i don't aaction now as owners of this country, the forecast shows that by the year 2020, federal spending will be 41% of the gross national
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product. we can't take 25%. we certainly can't take 41%. it's like having willie sutton in charge of the bank, folks. he was a famous bank robber and i asked him, why do you rob banks? and willie said because that's where the money is. well, our bank is being looted big time and we'll get down to how in a little bit. >> ross perot in his 1992 campaign. we have 30 seconds, doug brinkley, what was the ross perot candidacy all about? >> when i saw that pie chart, remember, preinternet even. preemailing. when clinton became president in 1993 nobody used email by the time he left office three billion emails going around the world and an antiquated moment. ross perot made a difference and reminded people of old fashioned american values and reinvigorated the notion that a third party candidate can get into the mix. rausm nader made a difference -- ralph nader made a difference in
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2000. he's a legend in the third party movement and just i think a person who is part of the contenders. >> carolyn barta, last 30 seconds, did ross perot make a difference? >> oh, absolutely. i think he was a wake-up call. he put issues on the agenda. and the deficit ended up being a surplus. the budget was balanced during the clinton years. so now maybe that tea party people think that we need another wake-up call. yes, he definitely had an impact. >> as we close out the series, two special thank you's to the producer of this series and a guiding light. and to richard norton smith who has been our consultant in this project and really the brainchild behind it when we first got started thank you both for all your hard work. we close our last program with the look at his theme song,
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election night, 1992, as he is greeting his supporters. >> having just said that, you have to play our campaign theme song, "crazy." ok? here we go. [applause] "crazy." ♪ >> ♪ crazy for feeling so lonely crazy crazy for feeling so blue i knew you'd love me as long as you wanted i'm crazy ♪ ♪
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>> for the past few months on c- span, we have examined the political lives of the contenders, 14 men who vied for the office of the president and lost. this friday, we will talk with gene baker, carl cannon, and richard norton smith to see what they learn from this series. friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. to review all the episodes, visit c-span.org/thecontenders. >> now the republican presidential candidates to debate last night from iowa. it aired live on the abc network. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corp. 2011] >> inouye front-runner emerges. as one candidate drops out. and these are the contenders, the one who wants to take back the presidency for the republicans. >> there is a plan out there and there is a person who can do it and that is rick perry. >> i will not rest until we repealed the obamanigger. >> what the vote only 24 days away in iowa, they gather in the heartland to make their case. the to face the tough questions and to challenge each other. the stakes could not be any higher. >> iowa has to decide who will be the next president of the united states. >> finally, the moment to choose
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is at hand. live from this morning, iowa -- from des moines, iowa, this is the abc news republican presidential debate. your voice. your vote. now reporting from des moines. >> welcome to iowa. welcome to drake university as the presidential voting draws near. did we just want to say to the people of ohio that we are endlessly struck by how seriously you take your role as first in line for the vote. >> every four years first. >> that is right. it is 24 days and counting. it is time for closing arguments, in essence. let's introduce the presidential
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candidates for the republican party for the united states of america. here is the debate tonight. former senator rick santorum of pennsylvania, gov. rick perry of texas, former gov. mitt romney of massachusetts, former speaker of the house newt gingrich of georgia, texas congressman ron paul, and congresswoman from minnesota michelle bachman. thank you all. [applause] before we begin, let's have one note. george and i have been talking and all of us have been talking with all of you about what it takes to run for the presidency in this country right now. we are talking about the determination, the physical stamina, the road to travel, the miles to travel, and the
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sacrifices your families make as you do it. we thought, maybe, at the end of this year, as the end of this road approaches, we could also lose your commitment to the presidential race and to democracy in this country. we salute you. [applause] >> the debate is pretty straightforward. they will have opening statements and then they will have one-minute responses from questions by diana and me. we want to show everybody at home with the candidates can see, this clock. it will shift from green to yellow to red over the course of the allotted time. all of you at home can follow
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at abcnews.com and yahoo.com. >> it is time to begin. people are telling us they do feel it is time to choose. the number one issue to choose is jobs in america. we would like to hear from all of you. the question is this. what is your distinguishing idea of how to create jobs for this country, how to bring jobs back from overseas. and if you will, how many jobs do you think you can create and how long will it take? >> the recovery program translated in today's population would be 25 million new jobs in seven-years. as speaker of the house, i worked for president clinton and
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we followed a similar plan. we made 11 million jobs in fouryears. the vortexes -- lower taxes. the opposite of the obama plan which is higher taxes and no regulation. hundreds of billions of dollars go to the 12.5% corporate tax rate. that will bring repatriate money back from overseas. i would go to 100% expensing for new equipment. and i abolished the death tax permanently. that would dramatically create jobs. >> you have given a number.
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what is the distinguishing idea? >> having spent my life in the private sector, i understand where jobs are created. they're not treated in government. they're not treated in washington -- they are not created in government. they are not created in washington. they are created on main street in america. i want to make sure that our employer tax rates are competitive with other nations. we are the highest in the world. no. 2, get regulators and regulations to realize the their job is not to burden the private enterprise system but to encourage it. no. 3, have trade policies that make sense for america and not just the people with whom we trade. china has to be crack down on. it has been cheating. member for, take a advantage of our extraordinary resources --
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no. 4, take the advantage of our extraordinary natural resources. finally, a government that does not spend more money than it takes in. >> congressman paul, a number, a time frame, and an idea. >> my approach is slightly different. we are all for less taxes and less regulations. but i emphasize the fact that you have to know why we have a recession and unemployment before you can solve the problem. the financial bubble are created by excessive credit and stimulation by the federal reserve. and when you have bubbles, you have to have a correction. this stimulus for its excessive debt. as long as you do not correct that and you maintain the debt, you can i get back to economic growth. unfortunately, so far come up with we have done is not liquidated debt. we have dumped the debt on the american people through tarp
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funding and the federal reserve. the debt is dumped onto people. what did we do? we build up the people who benefited during the formation of a bubble. as long as we do that, we cannot have economic growth. we did the same thing during the depression. the japanese are doing the same thing right now. it is time we liquidate the debt and adjust monetary policy and lower taxes. in the first year, i want to caught $1 trillion because that is corporate. >> there are a number of jobs that can be created in a timeframe that you can tell the american people you can do it. i want to turn to gov. perry for your distinguishing idea. >> a tax policy that puts a flat tax in place of 20%. as they have said, you get rid of the regulatory burden that is killing people. i have a record of doing that as the governor of the state of texas over the last 11 years. we created over 1 million jobs
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in that state while america lost 2 million jobs. there is a clear blueprint of how to make this work. but i want to talk about one other issue. congressman paul touched on it. on a map, i can diagram the problem we have in america today. it is a direct line between washington, d.c. and wall street. it is the corruption that has gone on. it is the idea of tarp. it is the idea of $7.70 trillion that we did not know where being put into these banks. it will take an outsider who can come in to put in the model of taxes and regulation and to be able to balance the budget by the year 2020 with 18% of gdp. that is what the american people want. and an outsider like rick perry will do that. >> congresswoman bachman? >> one of our competitors was herman cain. he always reminded us of the
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nine-nine-nine plan. i would like to have a win-win- win plan. i am a former federal tax lawyer. literally, we will create millions of dollars if we abolish the tax code and embrace a pro-growth policy. not only by lowering the rates for businesses, but for individuals as well and making it a tax code that applies fairly and the same to all americans. that is very important. another thing i want to do is make sure that everyone pays something. today, 47% of the american people pay nothing in federal income tax. everybody benefits by the country. they need to pay. another point is american energy production. if we legalize american energy, we will create 1.4 million jobs in two years. we can cut the government bureaucracy, which is obamacare, ncib tells us that we will lose
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1.6 million jobs over five years if we keep obamacare. i am committed to repealing obamacare, dodd-frank, cutting out the epa. >> and montana, they just lost a couple hundred jobs. that is why they asked us to have a forum a few weeks ago on manufacturing. they are understand that the heartland of america is suffering because the manufacturing economy of this country continues to go down. be used to have 21% of people employed in this country in manufacturing. it is now 9%. we had to get plenty of the to revitalize manufacturing. i took the corporate tax and zeroed it out for all manufacturers. we want to put a platform
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together that will repeal regulations that are crushing our manufacturers and businesses. one thing a president can do -- he cannot pass a law, but he can repeal regulations. president obama has given us a bevy of regulations that need to be repealed, including energy regulations that are driving up our energy costs. we need to make sure we have lower electricity rates and oil manufacturing going on here. we put together that plan and we will not only revitalize the economy, but take care of an area of this country that has suffered in recent times. and that is our rural and small- town america. >> i think that governor romney is the only person who gave us a four-year plan. i wonder if anyone else would come in with a four-year first term option for the american people.
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>> i do not want to make a promise because i do not think that government can tell you, from the top down, dictate how many jobs they can create. we can create an atmosphere for businesses to thrive. that is regulation that works for businesses. taxation that makes us competitive. a litigation environment that makes us competitive. you create that platform, you create that petrie dish, you will get a lot of things growing there and we do not need the government been-counting us. >> i want to move on now if i can to another question. december 31, it is the payroll tax cut. as we know, the payroll tax cut, which funds social security, is part of the argument, part of the debate, part of the consideration in the economy in this country right now.
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if this tax cut expires on december 31, it could add as much as $1,000 to the tax burden of american working families. i know you are divided down the middle. if i can turn to you, congressman bachman, i know you're a tax attorney. should this tax cut go? >> this tax cut should not have been put in in the first place, the payroll tax extension. last december, i fought against this and i encourage my colleagues not to go down this road. this is president obama's wrote a temporary gimmicks and not a permanent solution. the reason why this is so detrimental to the economy is in that this took away $100 billion away from the social security trust fund. this is a very real issues for
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senior citizens. we have to pay the social security checks that are going out. i am completely different from barack obama on this issue. i do not agree with barack obama. we have candidates who are standing with barack obama on this issue. this year alone, this will cost the social security trust fund another $112 billion and we do not have enough money this year in the social security trust fund to put out those checks. that means we have to go to the general treasury to get the money. trust me begin when you open the door to the general treasury, the only thing that comes out is moss and others. there is nothing in there. -- moss and fetters there is nothing in there. >> governor romney, you have said that it is a temporary banded and have indicated that you are in favor of keeping it.
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how do you differ from congresswoman bachman? is it worth it? >> i do not want to raise taxes on people, particularly people in the middle class who are suffering under the obama economy. it is a tax cut that will help people in a very difficult time. let's recognize that it is just a band-aid. the extraordinary thing is that we have a president who has been in office for three years with eight fiscal crisis and a jobs crisis. the unemployment numbers we're seeing are not just statistics. they are real people. they are young people cannot start their lives in canada to college. -- they are young people who cannot start their lives and cannot go to college. the right thing to do is to talk about how he is going to make america competitive again. i spoke with business people all over the country and i have been one myself for 25 years.
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people are not investing in america because this president has made america a less attractive place for investing and hiring than other places in the world. it is a shame that we have a president who thinks that being hands on is working on his golf grip. >> governor perry, i believe your also against it. what is your position on it? >> will the social security system be funded by taxes are not? the president talks about how republicans do not care about social security and he is the one defunding the social security system. we will not do it by taking resources away from social
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security to pay benefits. i welcome the president to sit down with republicans in congress to work on a tax cut that will treat growth in the economy. but to take the social security trust fund that is so sacrosanct at election time and use it as a tax and tried to be that republicans are not supporting the tax cut is absurd. either you care about social security and you want to find it or you do not. -- and you want to fund it or you do not. >> id is not that difficult. in my budget, i want to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from overseas. the trust fund is gone, and how will we restored to? we have to quit this spending. we have to quit being the police of the world. we are pretending we're coming home from baghdad. we built job an embassy there
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that cost $1 billion and we have contractors there who pretend that the troops are coming home. >> all of you have been debating for the past several months to big questions for this nomination. who is the most consistent conservative candidate among you? and which reviews best able to defeat president obama? newt gingrich has said i am much more conservative than mitt romney and much more electable than anyone else. [laughter] >> this is more about us talking about what we believe and whether we can lead the country at a time when we need to restore the kind of values that make america the greatest nation on earth. we have a president who
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believes in a fundamental transformation of america into a society where the government takes it from some and give it to a rebuttals. and the only people who do very well in that setting -- and give it to everybody else. and the only people who do very well in that setting are people in government. the reason i should be the nominee of our party is that i can take that message to the president and the american people. i understand a mayor-based society. i understand the principles that made america the greatest nation on earth. we have places where we disagree. >> name some. >> we could start with the idea to have a lunar colony that would mine minerals from the moon. i do not agree on spending that kind of money to do that. he said he would like to
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eliminate in some cases the child labor laws so kids can clean schools. i do not agree with that idea. he wants to remove capital gains for people at the highest level of income. that is different from my point i would -- that is different from mine. the real difference is our background. i spent my life in the private sector. i and stand how the economy works. and i believe that for americans to say goodbye to president obama and elect a republican, they need confidence that the president knows how to make this economy work again and create jobs for the american middle- class. >> your response? >> you have four allegations against for responses? let's be candid. you lost to teddy kennedy in 1994. >> with a second.
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-- wait a second. i am a citizen. i have served the country in many ways. you are a citizen and you have served the country in many ways. i am proud of trying to find things that give young people in reason to study science and math. i grew up in a generation when the space program was real and it was important. it is tragic that nasa has been so bureaucratized. i want to give them places to go and things to do and i am happy to give the idea that america should be in space. as for schools, what i suggested
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is that kids should be allowed to work part time in school, particularly in the poorest neighborhoods, mostly because they could use the money. you took one half of the new york jenner's for unionized paid -- new york janitors who are unionized and get paid more than teachers. i will stand by the idea that young people ought to learn how to work. middle-class students do routinely. [laughter] on capital gains, i am not a businessman. you want to create jobs. a cap on capital gains tax is lower than president obama. you want to encourage the people who make more than two hundred
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thousand dollars to invest their capital in the united states. >> my proposal actually creates 11.5 million jobs and it does so by higher gdp growth than we have seen in these past obama years. in my view, the place we can spend our precious tax dollars is on the middle class, which has been hurt most by the obama economy. i want to eliminate tax on interest dividends and capital gains. if i had beaten ted kennedy and i could have been a career politician, that is true. if i had gone into the nfl when i was a kid, the way i wanted to, i would have been a football star. [laughter] [applause] i spent my life in the private sector. losing to teddy kennedy was probably the best thing i could have done. i worked in the private sector. i learned lessons there that are
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desperately needed in washington. we do not need lifetime washington people to get this country out of this mess. we need people outside of washington, outside of k street. one more thing, to have kids work in the library and to help out in school and to clean the blackboards does not require changing our child labor laws in this country. >> we will come back to that. i want to bring in congressman paul on this. you have been quite tough on speaker gingrich in iowa this week. you call him serial hypocrisy. why do you think that newt gingrich is a hypocrite? >> he has taken positions that are not conservative. he supported the top fund. he received a lot of money from freddie mac. freddie mac is a government
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organization. while he was earning a lot of money from freddie mac, i was fighting over a decade to explain to people where the housing bubble was coming from. so freddie mac was bailed out by the taxpayer. in a way, newt, i think you got some of our taxpayers' money and they are still getting bailed out. you were a spokesperson for them and you received money. i think this isthis is somethine ought to know about. you have changed positions. i think there would be trouble with anyone competing with me on consistency. [applause] >> the housing bubble came from
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the federal reserve inflating. i was never a spokesman for any agency. i was in the private sector. i was doing things in the private sector. [laughter] when you are in the private sector and have a company and offer advice like a lot of other companies do, you are allowed to charge money for it. i am not for bailing them out. i am for breaking them up. >> you make similar accusations against speaker gingrich. the answer your concern? >> when you talk about taking over $100 million and your offices on the rodeo drive of washington and you are taking money to influence the outcome of legislation in washington, that is the epitome of a
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consummate insider. the question was who is the proven constitutional conservative in the race. that would be made. i am 55. i have spent 50 years in the real world of the private business world. i am living a real life and building a real business. you have to take a look at the candidate on the stage. he started out with mitt romney and new gingrich and asking whether there was a conservative in the race. you have to look. for 20 years, newt gingrich has been advocating for the individual mandate in health care. that is longer than barack obama. mitt romney is the only governor that put into place socialized medicine. no other governor did. our nominee house to stand on the stage in the bay barack obama and be completely different. i led 40,000 americans to washington to the capital to fight obamacare. i did not advocate for it.
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if you look at mitt romney, they were for obamacare. if you look at newt-romney, they were for obamacare, cap-and- trade, the illegal immigration problem, the $700 bail out -- $700 billion bailout, and the payroll extension. if you want a difference, michele bachmann is a proven conservative. it is not newt romney. >> i want you to respond. >> a lot of what you say is not true. i testified against cap-and- trade the same day that al gore testified for it. i helped to defeat it in the senate. it is untrue. i fought against obamacare every step of the way.
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we actively opposed and campaigned against it. this is a fair game and everybody gets to pick fights. it is important that you be accurate when you say these things. those are not true. most of the money i made in ways that have nothing to do with what you have described. i did no lobbying or representation. my speech money and other things i did have nothing to do with that and for a larger source of income. i have new york times best- sellers. i note it does not fit your model, but it happens to be true. >> you will have to go back to 1993 when he first advocated for the individual mandate in health care. as recently as may of this year, he was still advocating for the individual mandate. gov. romney to teach them how to
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spread the romney-care model across the nation. that is why i say newt romney. our nominee has to have a stark difference with president obama who can go toe to toe and hold him accountable. i have taken him on issue after issue. our candidate has to stand opposite of all the candidates on this stage. i have been fighting obama every year i have been there. i have taken him on. i will take him on at the debate and defeat him. >> i know newt gingrich. he is a friend of mine. he and iraq loans, i promise you. the he and i are not clones, i promise you. [laughter] the newt romney thing.
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i did not send a team to meet with barack obama. i wish when he was putting the plan together he would've had the courtesy and judgment to talk to a governor who has dealt with the real problem and understand the topic. i would have said you were going down a very bad pass. do not continue going down that path. you will raise taxes on the american people. you will cut medicare. only one president has ever cut medicare for seniors. it is barack obama. we have will remind him of that time and time again. the plan we put in place in massachusetts deals with the 8% of people who did not have insurance, for the 92% who did have insurance, nothing changed for them. if i am president, we will get rid of obamacare. we will return this possibility and care of health care to the people in the states. [applause] >> i wonder which side you come
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down on. >> i am stunned. she hit the nail on the head when we talk of the individual mandate. both of these men have been for the individual mandate. i am even more stunned when you say you wish you could have talked to obama and said he was going down the wrong path. that is exactly the path that you have taken massachusetts. the beacon hill's study said there has been 18,000 jobs lost because of the individual mandate. the study says there have been over $8 billion of additional costs. i wish you could have had the conversation with the people of massachusetts before the phone call would have been with president obama. you work for individual mandates. -- you are for individual mandate. you can say you are against it and will repeal obamacare, but the record is very clear.
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you and newt were four individual mandates. that is the problem. the question is who can stand on the stage, look obama in the eye, and say obamacare is an abomination for the country. i will do that. i can take the fight to him and win the fight. >> a good deal for peace and was right. some of it was wrong. speaker gingrich said he was for a federal individual mandate. that is something i have always opposed. in our state, it was designed by the people of our state for the needs of our state. i believe in the 10th amendment. the people massachusetts favor the plan three to one. if they do not like it, they can get rid of it. under the 10th amendment, individuals have the power to craft their own solutions. the problem with president raise taxesn is it doe by $500 billion. we did not raise taxes. it cuts medicare by $500
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billion. we did not do that either. 3, it does not just deal with people who do not have insurance. it is a 2000 page bill that takes over health care for all of the american people. it is wrong for health care and the american people. it is unconstitutional. i am adamantly opposed to obamacare. if i am president, i will return to the people and states the power they have under the constitution. they can craft the solutions they think are best for them. you mandated in your state that at 12 years old, girls have to get a vaccination for sexually transmitted disease. it is not likely have differences on mandates. we have differences on what we mandated. i want to give people health insurance. you want to give young girls a vaccine. there are differences. >> i want to make one point. in 1993 in fighting hillary care, virtually everyone sought
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the mandate as a less dangerous thing and what she was trying to do. it became more obvious that mandates have all sorts of problems built-in. people tried to find other techniques. i have tried to find a way to make sure the people who could afford it are paying their hospital bills while leaving and out for libertarians to not buy insurance. it is clear the mandate is unconstitutional. it started as a conservative effort to stop hillary care in the 1990's. >> i am listening to you. i am hearing you say the right things. i read your first book. it said your mandate in massachusetts should be the model for that unisys. you were four individual mandates, my friend. -- you were for individual mandates, my friend. it was true then and it is true
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now. >> $10,000 bet? >> i am not in the bedding business. i will show you in the book. >> i have the book. [laughter] i wrote the book. in chapter 7, there is a section called the massachusetts model. i say that in my view, each state should be able to fashion their own program for the specific needs of their distinct citizens. then i go on to talk about the states being laboratories of democracy and that we can learn from each other. i have not said in an edition anything about our plan being a national model imposed on the nation. the right course for america -- i have said it before and will say again -- is to let individual states reject the idea of federalism is so extraordinary -- the idea of federalism is so extraordinary. let states craft their own solutions.
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>> this is such an important issue. we have one shot to get rid of obamacare. that is it. do we honestly believe the two man who just stood on the stage and offended romney care -- defended romney care and the individual mandate, are they honestly going to get rid of it in 2012? [laughter] [applause] i do not think so. it is going to be a very heavy lift. >> it is not about what you say in a debate or campaign when you are saying what audiences want to hear. in 1994, i was running for the senate and did not support the individual mandate. i was a conservative. i supported medical savings accounts. i believe in bottom of solving problems in america and not top-
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down government solutions. use straight on that issue as you have on other issues. you cannot talk about someone being consistent policy look at their record. i think michelle has been consistent as a conservative. but she has been fighting and losing. i fought and won. i fought for and passed welfare reform. i managed the bill on the floor of the senate. i was a leader on pro-life and pro-family issues. i endured tough debates and one. i fought on the national security issues like putting sanctions on iran. the consistent track record of being there in good times and bad -- i think you heard the
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difference. i was there. i led and won. if you are looking for someone who can be a consistent conservative, lead the fight, and win on the issues and in states that are important -- >> we're running up against a commercial break. i will give you 30 seconds to respond. >> the important thing is that you fight and lead. i led. in the congress, we were in the minority. nancy pelosi was not interested in my pro-growth policy on health care. i did not sit on my hands. i saleh was happening to the country. our country was going to lose because of socialized medicine. i did everything i could, including bringing and leading 40,000 people to the capital to
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get the attention of congress to get rid of obamacare. as president, might prove an record will be that i will take on every special interest and i will pre-lobby. i will make sure i help elect more senators so we have a full compliment in the house and senate. i will not rest until reserve repeal -- until we repeal obamacare. >> i was in the minority in the house. we formed a group called the gang of seven. we won. we expose the house banking scandal. we eventually sent the chairman of the ways and means committee to jail. we did not just by. we figured out a way to win even in the minority. >> we want to thank all of you again. these are the rules.
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we want to be fair. we want to hear everything you have to say. these issues are so important. it really does help if you stick to the rules that were agreed on. we appreciate that. when we come back, we're going to tackle some other big issues like immigration, foreign policy, faith, and family values. >> you are watching live abc news coverage of the iowa republican party debate. live from drake university in des moines, iowa. >> we are back. it has been a rocky debate so far. gov. romney and gov. perry ran ads in iowa this week. it leads to this question.
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should voters considered marital fidelity when making the choice for president? gov. perry, you said this is an important issue. why? >> i said not only did i make a vow to my wife, but i made a vow to god. that is heavy lifting in my book. when i make a vow to god, i would suggest that is even stronger than a handshake in texas. [applause] >> do you think a candidate who breaks his marital vows is more likely to break faith with the voters? >> i think the voters are wising up to figure that out. i have always been the opinion of the opinion that if you cheat on your live, you will cheat on your business partner. the issue of fidelity is important. it is a characteristic that
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people look at for individuals. individuals have been infidelity with their spouse and the powerful message. if you cheat on your wife, your spouse, why would do not cheat on your business partner or anybody? >> senator santorum, you summed up your position as character counts. >> i think character issues do count. all of your record, personal and political record, is there for the public to look at. i would not say it is a disqualifying. i would not go that far. people make mistakes. you are held accountable to the mistakes. the public will listen to the circumstances and make their decision. it is a factor and should be a
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factor. you are electing a leader trust is everything. who can we trust? i talk about my record, the fact i have been married 21 years and have seven children. i have a record that is consistent in conservative politics. i talk about my past. i think that is important for people to determine whether they're trustworthy enough to earn support. >> character is very important. i do not think it should be necessary to talk about it. i think it should show through in a way that we live. i think it should show through in your marriage. i do not think we should have to talk about it. if your marriage vows are important, what about the oath of office? that is where you are really on
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the line as a public figure. that is where a lot of people come up short. many times i end up voting all by myself. if we took that oath of office seriously in washington, the budget would be balanced. we would have sound money. we would have prosperity. we would not be the policeman of the world. we would not have the federal reserve. we would not be invading the privacy of every individual with bills like the patriot act. we would have a free society and a prosperous society. [applause] >> gov. romney, you chose to make your family and faith a featured this week in iowa. >> president obama came out with an ad attacking me saying i
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do not have a core. i have said in prior ads who i am and why i got in the race. we need to concentrate on who can lead america to a place where we do not become a greece or italy. that is the path we're on and where we are going. the merit-based society is the hallmark of allowing us to create jobs. who can make sure america is the job-creating engine it once was? who can make sure that kids know when they get out of school, they will have a job waiting for them? i believe i am the person. part of my motivation for doing those things is i love this country. i love the values of this country. i want to make sure my kids and grandkids, 16 of them, have an america that is as prosperous as
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the america i enjoyed -- and just as free. but the founders spoke about this -- >> the founders spoke about this. in the federalist papers, they did not look at welcome education, position. they looked at just one issue. it was the measure of a man or woman for being the next president of the united states. will they keep their word? will they be a man or woman of integrity? that is what they cared about. that was more important than anything else. in iowa, that is what i have seen. that is what people care about. who are you really? what is your center? what drives you? people want to know your face. i am a christian. i am not ashamed or apologetic about it. i have a strong faith. i made a proclamation of my faith in christ when i was 16. i do not mind if people ask me
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questions about that, my husband, our family. i am happy to talk about that. people need to take the measure of the man or woman when they make the decision. >> i think it is a real issue. people need to look at the person to who they will loan the presidency. they need to have a feeling this is the person they can trust. i think it is a very important issue. people have to render judgment. in my case, i have said openly that i have made mistakes. i had to go to god for forgiveness. i have had to seek reconciliation i am also in 68- year-old grandfather. people have to measure who i am now and whether i am the person they can trust. i am delighted at the way people have been willing to look at who i am and what my record has been and the amount of support we're getting from the american people the number of people in
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iowa are supporting the candidacy and record of real change. >> i want to turn to the issue of immigration. people talk about it around the dinner table. can we do one thing in the interest of time? can we stipulate every single person on stage has said to secure the borders? he may have slightly different prescriptions for doing that, but we will stipulate that is what you all want to do. let's turn to the question of the 11 million undocumented people in the country. you have talked about citizen review boards to look at cases on an individual basis.
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you said that someone who has been here 25 years and serve the community should get special consideration. how many years is the threshold? if they have been five years. serve the community and the criteria you set out, are they also a candidate? >> the system review the idea came out of the selective service model used from world war ii on who should be deferred and drafted because they have local knowledge. that is the starting point. i started with the cases i think are hard to argue about. somebody has been here 25 years. somebody who has been a good local citizen, may belong to your church, has children and grandchildren in the united states. i do not believe the people of the united states are going to send the police in to rip that
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person out and ship them out of the country. i think we ought to be honest about that. i think most workers here without ties should go home immediately. we should make deportation easier just as we should make english the official language. we should have an effective guest worker program with severe penalties for employers who hire illegally. >> the pugh center said maybe 3.5 million people could come under the criteria you laid out. >> i do not think there are 3.5 million people who have been here 25 years. >> what about 15 years? >> you used a number that does not relate to my proposal. >> do you have a threshold on the number of people you would consider? >> that is why you have the citizen review panel. the person has to have been here 25 years, of genuine ties to the committee, be a good citizen,
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and have an american family sponsor them. they get residency. they pay a penalty in order to get residency. >> i am going to turn to gov. romney. we heard speaker gingrich say we will not around people up and deport them. at one point, you said something similar, that we will not retracting everybody down and moving them out. you seemed to indicate that people should go back home to their country. . it may take five years or more if they get to the back of the line. how many people should be sent back home to their countries customer should they be tracked down to establish who they are and sent back home to their country? but i believe any time we start talking about a form of amnesty
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and how people have been able to come here and stay illegally, but they will be in to stay here with a permanent resident status, we will create another magnet that draws people in the country illegally. the right course is to talk about what you described, secure the border. when we do that, we can talk about 11 million or whatever number are in the country illegally. those 11 million people should register the fact they're here. they should be given a transition amount of time to allow them to settle their affairs and then return home and get in the back of the line with everybody else who wants to come here. we talk about the difficulty of people going home. there are millions of people are in line who want to come here. i want to bring people here who
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have skills, experience, and family. i do not want to do something which encourages another wave of illegal immigration. from my viewpoint, the key measure is this. no favoritism for permanent residency or citizenship for those who have come here illegally. >> you would send all 11 million back. gov. perry, there are a number of these cases of people who have signed up for the military who have been undocumented but go ahead and sign up. what should happen with them? >> let me address the issue you asked from the start. citrin the border is the key -- securing the border is the key. if this country would simply enforce the laws on the book, think about all of the laws we
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have already out there that clearly say that here are the punishments and what will happen. if this country would simply enforce the laws we have on the book -- as president, you will not see me sending my justice department to sue states like arizona who are having their sovereign rights put in jeopardy by our justice department. he will not see a catch and release program like this administration has today where people who are caught and are illegally in the country and because they have not been caught in a violent situation, they are released. they are released into the general population. but as the problem we have got in this country. i suggest we spend time with the laws we have on the books being enforced. we will have a substantially smaller number of people which
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will have to make decisions about. then we can have a legitimate conversation about immigration reform. [applause] >> speaker gingrich caused something of a star overnight in the middle east with comments he made on the jewish channel where he called the palestinians and invented people. do you agree with that character resist -- characterization? >> i do not agree. that is just stirring up trouble. i believe in a non- interventionist foreign policy. i do not think we should get in the middle of squabbles. but to go out of the way to say that so and so is not a real people -- under the ottoman empire, the palestinians did not have a state but neither did israel. this is how we get involved in messes. it fails on the side of
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practicing the policy, getting ourselves into trouble mentioning things that are unnecessary. the people in this region should be dealing with the problems. we should not be dealing with those things. under the ottoman empire, that is technically correct. but to make these decisions in deciding what the settlement will be should be from the people involved. the idea we can be the policeman of the world and settle these disputes, we will have to quit because we're broke. we cannot continue to get into these issues like this and getting ourselves into more trouble. >> it has caused quite a reaction in the middle east. the chief negotiator said these statements will be the weapons of extremists for a long time. >> how would he know the difference? is what i said factually
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correct and historically true? yes. every day, rockets are fired into tisrael while the united states tries to pressure them into peace process. hamas publicly says not a single jew will remain. the palestinian authority and the answer to india said last month that there is no difference between for talk and -- fatah and hamas. these people are terrorists. they teach terrorism in their schools. they of text books that say if there are 13 and nine are killed, how many are left. somebody needs to stand up and say enough lying about the middle east. [applause] >> de- take issue with the
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characterization of the palestinians as an invented people? >> i think that was a mistake on his part. a thing the speaker would probably suggest that as well. [laughter] maybe not. i think we're wise to stand with our friends, israel, and not get ahead of them. this president decided he would try to negotiate for them by saying let's go back to the 1967 borders. that is not what israel wanted to hear. they do not want us to make it more difficult for them to sit down with the palestinians. ultimately, the palestinians and israelis are going to have to agree on how to settle the differences between them. the united states should not say something that makes it more difficult. we stand with the israeli people. if we disagree with them like this president, we do not do it in public like he has done. we do in private.
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we let the israeli leadership describe what they think the right course is going forward. we do not negotiate for them. we stand with them and make it clear. we will tell the truth. we will not throw incendiary words into a boiling pot. >> the israelis are getting rocketed every day. we're not making life more difficult. the obama administration is making it more difficult. the palestinian claim to a right of return is based on an historically false story. someone should about the mandate for the jewish homeland and point out the context under which israel came into existence. this is a propaganda war. we refuse to tell the truth when the other side lies.
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he will not win in the long run if you are afraid to stand firm and for the truth. >> of course you stand firm and for the truth, but you do not speak for israel. if netanyahu was to say that, let him say that. the people of israel to be able to take their own positions and not have us negotiate for them. >> i did not speak for the people of israel. i spoke as an historian who has looked at the world stage for a long time. i feel quite confident an amazing number of israelis found it nice to hear an american tell the truth about the war and people surrounding them saying that you do not have a right to exist and we want to destroy you. [applause] a at >> i also known netanyahu for a long time. the last thing he needs to have is not just a person who is historian but also someone
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running for president stand up and say things that create an extraordinary turmoil in his neighborhood. if i am president, i will exercise sobriety, care, stability, and make sure in a setting like this that anything i say that can affect a place with rockets going in and people dying, that i do not do anything that would harm the process. before i make a statement of that nature, i get on the phone to my friend and say what would you like me to do? let's work together. we're partners. i am not a bomb-thrower rhetorically or literally. [applause] >> sometimes it is helpful to have a president with the courage to tell the truth like ronald reagan. he went around the entire national security apparatus to call the soviet union an evil empire and tell gorbachev to tear down the wall.
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the power of truth refrained the world. i am a reaganite. i will tell the truth even if it is at the risk of causing confusion with the timid. [applause] >> who has the better of the argument? [laughter] >> in 1974, i went to israel for the first time. i saw a brand new nation that makinggun in 1948 and was th its way into modernization. they are a first world nation. i was able to return as a member of congress multiple times. when i was in the room arafat used, i asked fayed about how the palestinians teach their children to hate the jews and
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call them swine. i asked him about this very important issue. how do you find peace when you teach your children hatred? >> he said we do not do that anymore. our textbooks are not filled with that. i pulled out the pages i photocopied out of current books being used that clearly showed that. >> he said they were old textbooks. i said then send me the new textbooks that no longer say that to compare them with the old. i checked my mail box today. he still has not sent me those. that is what needs to change. >> let me put to you george's question about who has the better of the argument. . you have to speak the truth but with prudence. i thought they both made
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excellent points, but we are in a real-life situation. this is not an academic exercise. we have an ally. the policy of the country should be to stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies. we did not have an ally in the soviet union. the only allies we have sitting in gulags. they desperately needed to hear the truth. ronald reagan provided that. we have an ally that we have to work closely with. correct.int was we need to work with the israelis to find out if this is a wise thing for us to do, to engage this issue. maybe it is. my guess is that at this point and time, it is not. it is not that we should not tell the truth. we should be talking to our allies. it is their fight. we are to be supporting them.
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i have been out publicly that the israelis have the right to determine what happens in their land in all of israel including the west bank. it is israeli land. we need to work with them on a solution but works best for our allies. >> i think this is a minor issue that the media is blowing out of proportion. we have a president who has put the most model form policy in place -- muddled form of foreign policy in place that is causing confusion in the middle east. whether it has been a way that he stood back in egypt and did not try to negotiate with people who could work with us. now we have radical islamists as the head of egypt. whether it was leading from the rear in libya. the idea that this president
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with iran getting one of our creditors drones in their position repossession -- with iran getting one of our predator drones in their possession, he chose the worst. the opportunity was to either retrieve or destroy the drone. he did the worst of the three choices. he did absolutely nothing. the russians and chinese will have our highly technical equipment now. this president is the problem, not something that newt gingrich said. [applause] >> we have to take a break. we have a partner in all this. i want to address the struggles of the middle class in this country. we have a question on yahoo
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about the last time you had a personal financial strain that forced you to cut back on the necessity as so many people in the middle class say they do. tell us about the consequences you are faced and weigh in on that when we come back. ♪ >> live from drake university in des moines, iowa. >> welcome back. we think the republican candidates for president of the united states for debating tonight. return to the question. did we turn to the question of the struggles of the middle class. many are forced to make cuts for
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necessities. they want to note the last time you had a personal financial strain that forced you to give up luxury and cut back on necessities. what were the consequences you face? this is from andrew in texas. i would like to start with gov. perry. >> growing up where i grew up, there were some people who probably said -- i was on a radio station yesterday and talked about my upbringing and growing up in the house that did not have running water until i was five or six. my mother was selling my own clothes for me until i went off to college. -- my mother was sewing my own clothes for me until i went off to college. luxury it was not in my lexicon. i went off to the air force and came back home. as a 27-year-old, i was a grown
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man, but i did not have anything. . my social security has a zero in 1978. i am sure i was giving up some things others would consider luxuries. i have never had a time in my life where i felt like i gave anything up, that i did not have everything i needed. i know people are suffering in america today. that is the reason we need to get this country working. people need to have a job. the policies i have laid out in the record i have in the state of texas for the last decade clearly gives that record to the people of this country. >> we want to remind you of the rules when the red comes up. >> gov. romney, what about this question? >> i did not grow up poor.
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if someone is looking for someone with a back room, i am not that person. my dad grew up poor and wanted to make sure i understood the lessons of hard work and understood the principles that made america the greatest nation on earth. they made sure we had jobs growing up and did not spend money foolishly. they made sure i had a care and concern for other people. i was able to serve my church overseas and meet people who had difficult circumstances in their lives. i also spent time in this country serving as a pastor in my church. i had the occasion to work with people struggling. i saw marriages under great stress. when people lose jobs, marriages are strained. help becomes effective, people become depressed. -- health becomes effective, people become depressed. i understand the principles and specifics that it takes to get america creating jobs again.
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that is why i am in the race. >> congressman paul, how much does it matter to have a personal experience? >> i feel very fortunate. i was raised in a family that was rather poor, but i did not really know it. it was during the depression. we did not have much. i worked my way through college. that was a natural instinct because that is what you were supposed to do. i finally did better in medical school because i had my wife working our way through medical school. [laughter] that worked on a little better. the middle class is suffering. there is a characteristic about monetary policy when a country destroys its currency, it transfers wealth from the middle class to the wealthy. this is what you are seeing today, the elimination of the middle class.
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it is going to get a lot worse unless we address the subject of over-spending, over-borrowing, printing too much money and not understanding the business cycle. [applause] >> i grew up in a modest home. i was blessed to have all of my basic needs met. one of the most basic and important i learned is that i had a mother and father. that is the most important gift i was given. i had two parents who loved and supported me and made me feel safe. they made the little things feel like luxuries because i had the sense of security. in america, we see the family continuing to break down. with that, the economic status of the families. single househol. households have poverty levels approaching 40%. you have the lack of security and stability because moms are
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doing heroic work try to hold things together. iit is hard. we need to promote the institution of marriage, promote the family, and nurture the environment to make sure that families are elevated and supported in that fathers and mothers are there to take care of their families and be there for their children. that is the most important luxury, a mom and dad. >> someone said recently that the troubled bank's credit bailout. troubled homeowners got evicted. your response on the question of the struggling middle class? >> i opposed the $700 billion bailout for wall street. wall street rolled the dice. they make foolish decisions. they were too happy to profit -- pocket profits. when things go sour, they decided to socialize their losses. the american taxpayer bail them
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out. there are people on a stage that support the bailout. i did not. behind closed doors, i took on the treasury secretary, my own president because i knew this would be a bad deal. you asked the question about luxuries and where we come from. i was born in ireland to a middle-class family. my family went through a tragedy that millions go through. my folks got divorced. my mother found herself a single mom. she had been a full-time homemaker. she had for kids. we went to below poverty overnight. when i was 14, i got a job to help of a family. i know what it is like for single mothers to struggle. we're still coupon-clippers. we still go to consignment stores. we get what that feels like. i think it is important for the president to be in touch with what real people struggle with across the country, and i have.
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>> when i was young, we lived in an apartment above the gas station. i had relatives who were steel workers and deliverymen. my dad was in the army. we moved around. he lived on the pay of a junior officer. we were frugal but did not feel desperate. i have several relatives that have been out of work and have had to go through difficult times. my wife runs gingrich productions as a small company. we have to meet the payroll. we have to find markets. we have to do everything small businesses go through. i know how difficult the economy is a practical level if you are a small business. >> we are getting real-time feedback from the audience. 12,000 people have already weighed in on yahoo and abc news.com.
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more than 72% say they want to hear more from you about the health care mandate. that is something they're not fully satisfied with on what they've heard from you. gov. romney, let me begin with you. you say you a voice against the federal mandate. you supported it in the state of massachusetts. in 2007, you thought it would be good for most states to try it. now you say you would not encourage other states to try it. >> states can do whatever they want to do. [applause] that is the great thing about our system. there is a good deal we did that people could look out and find as a model. they can try what they think is best. it is up to other states to try what works for them. some will think it is a terrible idea.
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we have the idea of exchanges where people could buy insurance from private companies. we have no private insurance in our state. it is all private pay. people can learn from one another. my plan was designed for our state. other states should have the right to create plans that work for them. if they came up with something better, we can learn from them. the idea of the federal government or federal mandates with obamacare flies in the face of the constitution and violates the 10th amendment. i think the supreme court will strike it down. if they do not, i will. >> as late as may of this year, he supported some form of the mandate when everyone else had come out against it. what finally convinced you it was unconstitutional? >> for the federal government to do it is unconstitutional. a congress that could compel you to purchase this item could
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compel you to purchase anything. any majority could decide to make you do virtually anything. that is why you are seeing a dramatic shift back toward limiting the federal government in imposing the 10th amendment as a serious barrier. i have been working on health issues since 1974. i tried to find a way to break out of where we are. the third-party payment model has grown more expensive and difficult to sustain. i helped to found the center for health transformation for that reason. i wrote a book on it in 2002. we need to rethink the whole health system to move back to a doctor-patient relationship and help savings accounts where people are directly engaged in taking care of themselves to a greater degree than they are in the current insurance system. >> this question is about health
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care. i was just at a pharmacy here in iowa. the pharmacists were talking about a big driver of health care costs. they specifically mention the unhealthy habits that we need to learn to do better on from a young age. they talk about obesity and exercise. is there anything government should do on these fronts? specifically healthy behavior at very young ages. >> no, but they have to be a referee. if they're doing something that hurts other people, yes. if you embark on instituting a society where government protection from yourself, you are in big trouble. that is what they are doing. [applause]
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what we have had is a demonstration of why we should have in canada that have to explain themselves. 70% of people want further explanation on your positions. it is in los -- endless. government is force. do you have a choice about paying medicare taxes? there's not a lot of difference. being forced to buy insurance is one step further. when the government uses force to mall behavior or the economy, they have overstepped the bounds. they have violated the concept of the revolution and the constitution. [applause] >> we're running short on time. does anyone disagree with the first part of his answer? >> i think the states, it is
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their call, not the federal government. the states should be able to make decisions. you probably have some programs in iowa. there you go. the healthiest state in the nation. [applause] >> it should be their call. congressman paul and i disagree from time to time. the real issues in this country are the people are sick of washington. they are sick of the money they are seeing spent. they're sick of the fraud and corruption. they are sick of seeing their kids' futures mortgaged because washington is out of touch with the country. when i talk about our plan to overhaul washington and going to a part-time congress, cut their pay in half, let them spend half of the time in washington, send them back home to have a regular job like the rest of the people
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in their district and work under the laws that they passed, i suggest to you that along with a balanced budget amendment, that will go a long way to stopping a lot of a nonsense we're seeing coming out of washington. >> we will return to the healthiest state in the nation in just a minute. >> you are watching live abc news coverage of the iowa republican party debate. ♪ live from drake university in des moines, iowa. >> george and i were just talking about the question we get so often is why can't people who disagree show respect for each other? we want each of you to take a
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few minutes and tells the one thing you have learned from someone else, one of your challengers on stage. senator santorum. >> i will go back to the comment i made earlier. when i was first running for office, newt gingrich was the guy whose tapes are listened to as a young man. at 30, i decided to run for congress. he laid out a vision for conservative government that i adopted and ran with in a tough congressional district, so tough that no one gave me a chance of winning it. on election night, the wall street journal did not recalled -- called to find out my name and they did not know it.
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i came out as a conservative. i have run as a conservative in a 60% democratic district and one. i have defeated an incumbent and won again in the year that george bush lost the election. i stuck by the conservative principles newt outlined in the late 1980's. it has served me well. i have been a consistent conservative. >> congressman paul got me intrigue with the federal reserve. i have spent a substantial amount of time reading about it. i read "currency wars." congressman paul is the individual who got me most interested in a subject i found to be quite interesting and at the root of a lot of the problems we have. i thank you for that. the one thing i

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Washington This Week
CSPAN December 11, 2011 10:30am-2:00pm EST

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